When the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters decide on February 3 which five modern-era candidates get into Canton, former Jaguars tackle Tony Boselli and 9-time Pro Bowl safety Brian Dawkins, a Raines High product, will face identical hurdles.

 

Boselli and Dawkins are HOF-worthy and will likely get in at some point. The problem is, both face a position logjam, plus Ray Lewis and Randy Moss probably locking up two of the five spots for modern-era finalists.

That’s an uphill battle for offensive linemen and defensive backs to snag three remaining spots. Boselli is among five linemen up for enshrinement, including Washington Redskins tackle Joe Jacoby, who could draw sentimental votes in his last year as a modern-era candidate. Guard Steve Hutchinson is in his first year of eligibility and the others — Kevin Mawae and Alan Faneca — are repeat finalists. That’s a tough breakthrough in a crowded O-line field.

Dawkins’ primary competition could be safety John Lynch, also a 9-time Pro Bowler, five-time HOF finalist and GM for the San Francisco 49ers. With cornerbacks Ty Law and Everson Walls in the mix, that’s a lot of secondary choices for voters to sort through.

A year ago, Boselli and Dawkins were eliminated on the last cut from 10 to five finalists. All I know is both were too good to be kept waiting much longer…

So why did Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye give so much cushion to New England Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks (six catches, 100 yards) in the AFC Championship Game? My guess is Bouye was less aggressive after getting burned for two TDs the previous week by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Antonio Brown… .

Regarding angst of Jaguars fans over the whistle blowing dead after Myles Jack stripped the ball from the Patriots’ Dion Lewis: the complaints are minimized without the benefit of multiple replays. In real time, the takeaway was an incredibly difficult call for officials. CBS analyst Tony Romo said “that’s a tough one” after seeing several replays. At least they didn’t rule Lewis’ knee down and allow the Patriots to retain possession.

After getting that turnover and holding a 20-10 fourth quarter lead, the Jaguars had 38 more plays (excluding knee-downs, fair catches) to possibly close out the game, but came up short. That was the Jaguars’ culprit, not the officiating… .

Chipper Jones on steroid suspect Barry Bonds and his Baseball Hall of Fame hurdle: “Barry Bonds is the best baseball player I’ve ever seen don a uniform. Bonds was king of the galactic All-Stars. The rest of us were just All-Stars. I’m not going to tell people how to vote or not to vote. The people that cheat are going to be in, if some are not already.”…

I’ll make my Super Bowl pick next week. Last pigskin forecast: 1 right, 1 Shaquem Griffin NFL combine non-invite.

Gene.frenette@jacksonville.com: (904) 359-4540