Is Chris Cooley “Ring of Fame” worthy?

By now many of you know that Redskins tight end Chris Cooley was placed on injured reserve, ending his season with a broken finger and knee injury. The injuries, combined with the exponential growth of now-starting tight end Fred Davis have lead to a question of whether or not Cooley will be back for the 2011-2012 campaign. Mike Shanahan’s thoughts on whether he makes the roster are an entirely different argument. I’m here to talk about whether or not this guy is “Ring of Honor” worthy.

Chris Cooley is 6’3″, 255 lbs and a prototypical tight end for any team in the league, when healthy. His stats this year have been less than stellar with his limited role and the emergence of others at the tight end and now fullback position.

  • Cooley in 2011 – 5 games, 8 receptions, 65 yards.

This year has certainly been nothing to write home about, but let’s look at his career to this point.

  • 108 games played, 428 receptions, 4,703 yards, 33 touchdowns and 11 fumbles. 

For the average person that has a hard time dividing, this amounts to an average per-game stat line of (drum roll please)

  • 4 receptions, 44 yards and  1/3 of a touchdown.

The stats on Cooley’s career seem very meager at first glance. I have a question for you true burgundy and gold fans. How many tight ends are in the Washington Redskins “Ring of Honor”? Answer – one.

Redskins Ring of Honor member Jerry Smith

His name is Jerry Smith. Smith was a part of a championship Skins team in Super Bowl VII before losing to the undefeated ’72 Dolphins. Smith averaged 2.5 receptions for 32.7 yards per game, but did amass 60 touchdowns over his twelve year career.

In comparison with Smith, Cooley seems to be doing just fine. The only issue is that the Skins were never any good during Cooley’s time here. They had two brief playoff runs in 2005 and 2007, but outside of those years this franchise has been in the dumps. The numbers stack up fairly well for a tight end, but not too great overall. Cooley has been a difference maker in certain situations, but for all of his career he wasn’t even the best tight end in his own division. That title going to Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys.

Is Chris Cooley one of the better tight ends we’ve had in recent years? Yes. Is he irreplaceable? No, obviously. Will he be on this Redskins roster next year? Remains to be seen.

When he walks away from it all, will he be “Ring of Fame” worthy?

Tags: Chris Cooley Cowboys Football Jason Witten Jerry Smith NFC East Redskins Ring Of Honor Tight Ends Washington DC Washington Redskins