Alabama in the Pros

Josh Jacobs Rookie of the Year snub is highway robbery

Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

Before casting eyes on what was an entertaining Super Bowl, the NFL Honors ceremony over the weekend left many fans and media pundits scratching their heads. 

The National Football League is controlled by quarterbacks. 

Not only have the rules been changed to help the position, but it also dictates the market – in terms of contracts – and teams have hired more innovative minds from college to help more signal callers succeed.

Prior to the matchup between Chiefs and 49ers, Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals won NFL’s Rookie of the Year. The product of the Oklahoma Sooners and Heisman winner in 2018 totaled 3,722 passing yards with 20 touchdowns to 12 interceptions through 16 games last year.

Regardless of his playmaking abilities and the items stated above about quarterbacks, supporters of the NFL (like all others) want things done the right way. 

Murray had some great moments and sold a bunch of jerseys; however, Josh Jacobs deserved Rookie of the Year.

A native of Tulsa, Okla., the No. 24 overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft produced a franchise record for the Las Vegas Raiders (formerly known as Oakland Raiders) with becoming the first rookie running back to have a 1,000-yard season. The former Alabama standout turned in 1,150 yards rushing with seven touchdowns on 242 carries last year. 

Along with setting a record, Jacobs finished in the top-10 (No. 8) of the league in yards. 

Murray neither set a franchise record nor finished in the top-10 at his position. 

Jacobs was credited with five 100-yard performances, including one against Kansas City: the champion of Super Bowl 54. He was named AFC’s Rookie of the Month for both October and November, and had the Raiders flirting with an opportunity at the playoffs. If not for a leg injury, he possibly has the team in the postseason as the sixth and final seed.

Even with a 7-9 record, Jacobs made the Raiders an exciting group to watch. He embodied everything Jon Gruden stood for and while it did not have any superstar names, the silver and black was something to behold. 

RELATED: Trio of former Alabama players help Chiefs capture its second Super Bowl in franchise history

Murray, on the other hand, had talent all over the field. 

He had Kenyan Drake, David Johnson (12 games), Pharoh Cooper, Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald and Charles Clay, and the Cardinals still won just five games. On top of this, Murray had the innovative head coach in Kliff Kingsbury and yet Arizona was not all that mesmerizing.  

He did not have his team positioned for the playoffs, he did not set a franchise record, he did not finish in the top-10 at his respective position, and his unit was not fun to watch.

All of these are reasons why Murray should not have been the league’s Rookie of the Year, but he’s a quarterback and this is a quarterback’s league.  

Jacobs did more with less talent around him and if it had made the playoffs, the Raiders would have been a tough out. Seeing the former three-star get robbed over the weekend was inexcusable and the NFL should recognize it. He will be back next season to claim bigger and better honors, but him being snubbed was highway robbery.  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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