Dallas Cowboys: Pro Bowl

Pro Bowl voters not looking at Cowboys

November, 29, 2012
IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys are looking at possibly having their fewest number of Pro Bowl representatives since 2002.

The only two players in the top five in the current fan voting are DeMarcus Ware, who is second among outside linebackers, and Jason Witten, who is fourth among tight ends.

The only Cowboy selected to the Pro Bowl in 2002 was defensive lineman La’Roi Glover on a team that finished 5-11. The Cowboys had two players picked for the game last season, in Ware and nose tackle Jay Ratliff.

Witten is second in the NFL in catches with 82 and is on pace to set a league record for catches in a season by a tight end. He is on pace for more than 1,000 yards but has scored only one touchdown. He trails Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez, New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham and San Francisco’s Vernon Davis.

Ware, who has played in the last six Pro Bowls, is fourth in the NFL in sacks with 10 and second in the conference. He trails Green Bay’s Clay Matthews in the fan vote.

What other Cowboy could warrant consideration? Maybe Anthony Spencer. Maybe Dez Bryant. Maybe Dan Bailey.

Can Dez Bryant make the Pro Bowl roster?

November, 29, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is just 120 yards away from his first 1,000-yard receiving season. He's produced four games with over 100 receiving yards, including 290 yards over the last two weeks.

Has Bryant done enough to get into the Pro Bowl conversation?

Currently, Bryant is 11th in the NFL in receiving yards, and you would have to think Detroit's Calvin Johnson, Chicago's Brandon Marshall and most likely either Atlanta's Roddy White or Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald will make the roster.

Bryant has put up big numbers in nationally televised games and has a chance to do it again Sunday night when the Cowboys host the Philadelphia Eagles.

His biggest challenge could be New York's Victor Cruz and Atlanta's Julio Jones. If anything, Bryant has a chance to become one of the Pro Bowl alternates, meaning if one of the selected players opts out, the first alternate gets a call up.

Bryant has been wonderful this season, but more established players such as Johnson, Marshall and White could prevent him from getting the coaches and player votes, which each account for one-third of the vote. The fans get the other third of the vote, so maybe he gets some opportunities there.

Manning over Romo? Not in Total QBR

December, 27, 2011

US Presswire
Eli Manning was selected to the Pro Bowl, though a stat-based argument could be made for Tony Romo.

If Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was looking for any further motivation regarding Sunday’s matchup with Eli Manning and the New York Giants, he can find it, at least statistically, in his omission from the NFC’s Pro Bowl roster.

Calvin Watkins and Ohm Youngmisuk debate whether the Giants or Cowboys will sit atop the NFC East when the dust settles Sunday night.

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Manning was selected over Romo despite Romo ranking eight spots ahead of him in the Total QBR rankings.

Romo’s Total QBR for the season is 72.4, fourth-best in the NFL and third-best in the NFC, behind Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers (85.2) and Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints (82.7).

Manning ranks 12th overall and among NFC quarterbacks, he also rates behind Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons (66.2), Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles (62.4), Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions (60.8), and Jay Cutler, who was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday by the Chicago Bears (59.5).

The biggest difference between Romo and his competitors is a big gap in the expected points he added in his pass attempts. He ranks fourth in that stat, (known as Pass EPA), adding 111.7 points to his team this season. Manning rates a distant fifth (85.9). A major reason for this is that Manning has thrown nearly twice as many interceptions (16) as Romo (nine).

Romo’s Total QBR was boosted by four games with a Total QBR of 90 or better, a 27-24 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2 (Total QBR: 93.9), a 23-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9 (Total QBR: 90.0), a 44-7 win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 10 (Total QBR: 99.3) and a 31-15 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 15.

In those four games, Romo was a combined 85-for-120 for 1,143 yards, with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions.

Manning only has one game this season that ranked in the Top 50, a 27-24 win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 6 (Total QBR: 91.4; 27th-best in the NFL this season).

He does have three others that rate very well, and it likely helps his cause among those selecting the Pro Bowl rosters, that two of those were in wins against the New England Patriots (Total QBR: 81.3) and the Cowboys (Total QBR: 77.1)

The Pro Bowl selections for the AFC were basically a match for the Total QBR rankings.

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers, are first, third, and fourth in the conference in Total QBR, respectively. Injured Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub was second.

The next-best possible AFC quarterback by Total QBR, Matt Hasselbeck of the Tennessee Titans was actually just one spot below Manning, at 58.8, 13th-best in the NFL.

DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff earn Pro Bowl

December, 27, 2011
IRVING, Texas -- For the first time since 2002, the Cowboys will not be well represented at the Pro Bowl with only DeMarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff being named to the NFC all-star team.

In 2002, only defensive tackle La’Roi Glover was named to the team. Since 2003 the Cowboys have had at least four players named or added to the Pro Bowl, including a record 13 in 2007.

Ware and Ratliff were named as starters.

"It’s a great honor to be selected to play in the Pro Bowl," Ware said in a release. "It shows that all the work through the offseason and season pays off. It’s special because you are selected by the fans, your peers and coaches around the league. I am excited to represent the Dallas Cowboys and the entire NFL in the game. Since my rookie season, I always strived on working hard, being consistent and playing at a high level, and it really means something on a personal level to be rewarded.”

For Ware, this is his sixth straight trip to the Pro Bowl. He is tied for second in the league with 18 sacks, trailing Minnesota’s Jared Allen, who has 18.5 sacks. With two sacks in Sunday’s season finale against the New York Giants, Ware would become the first player in league history with two 20-sack seasons. He had 20 sacks in 2008.

If he outdistances Allen and Philadelphia’s Jason Babin, then Ware would lead the league in sacks for the third time in his career.

Ratliff will make his fourth straight Pro Bowl appearance. His two sacks are a low for when he has played a full season, but he has six tackles for loss, 12 quarterback pressures and four deflections to go with 37 tackles, according to the coaches’ breakdown.

Ware (stinger) and Ratliff (rib muscle strain) have played the last few games with injuries, but will play Sunday against the Giants.

Jason Witten’s Pro Bowl streak came to an end at seven, although he could be added as an alternate. New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham and Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez were named as the NFC’s tight ends.

The Cowboys do not reveal who has been named as alternates, but other candidates could include Witten, quarterback Tony Romo, right tackle Tyron Smith, inside linebacker Sean Lee and kicker Dan Bailey.

What are Cowboys' Pro Bowl chances?

December, 19, 2011
IRVING, Texas -- Fan voting for the Pro Bowl ends tonight. The players, coaches and personnel people vote this week and the NFC and AFC rosters will be announced on Dec. 27.

The Cowboys have had a ton of players earn Pro Bowl berths in recent years even without much postseason success.

So who makes it this year?

Here are eight candidates:

Tony Romo – His numbers speak for themselves. He has 29 touchdown passes, nine interceptions. Only Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady have a better passer rating. Detroit’s Matthew Stafford has a case, too. Ultimately, I think Romo gets picked.

Jason Witten – New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham is a lock with the numbers he has put up. Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez has six more catches, but Witten has more yards. They are even on touchdowns. Only two make it, but Witten should get the coaches’ vote to make eighth trip to the all-star game.

DeMarcus Ware – He’s played in five straight Pro Bowls. He has 16 this season but has been slowed the last couple of weeks with a stinger. Players respect the way he plays and know how hard he is to block. Ware should make it six in a row.

Jay Ratliff – His statistics are down, but I think the players, coaches and personnel people respect his game so much that he could make a run.

Tyron Smith – He’s a rookie and only three tackles make the team, but Smith has graded out high this year. Quick name the best tackles in the conference? See, it’s an open race but I’d say he falls short. Maybe he’s an injury replacement.

Sean Lee – He has had a breakout season, but when you factor in only two inside linebackers make it, his road is tough. San Francisco’s Patrick Willis is a lock and Chicago’s Brian Urlacher is tough to knock out of a spot to. Lee might be added later but has put his name in the ring for the future.

Dan BaileyNick Folk made the Pro Bowl for the Cowboys as a rookie in 2007. Bailey has a shot. His 32 field goals are fourth best in league history for a rookie. What may hurt? His miss at Arizona and the block vs. the Giants.

Tony Fiammetta – His play the last two weeks has not been as good as it was earlier in the season, but there’s no doubting what he has meant to the offense. Will others across the league see it? And he’s only played in eight games.

Cowboys lag in Pro Bowl voting

November, 18, 2011
IRVING, Texas -- DeMarcus Ware’s 13 sacks have him as the current leader among outside linebackers in voting for the NFC all-star team for the Pro Bowl.

Ware, who has played in the last five Pro Bowls, is the only Cowboy to lead his position. Through Tuesday he had 219,065 votes, which is the most among outside linebackers in either conference.

The only other Cowboys in the top five of voting at their positions are tight end Jason Witten, punter Mat McBriar and rookie kicker Dan Bailey. Witten, who has played in the last seven Pro Bowls, is fourth among tight ends, behind New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham, Green Bay’s Jermichael Finley and Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez. McBriar is fourth among punters and Bailey is third among kickers.

Fans can vote at www.nfl.com/probowl. The teams will be announced Dec. 27 after the players and coaches cast their ballots on Dec. 21-22. The Pro Bowl will be played Jan. 29 in Hawaii.

Austin thankful for Pro Bowl trip

January, 27, 2011
IRVING, Texas -- When Miles Austin got the word he was heading to the Pro Bowl he was at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn., doing some promotional work for Papa John’s.

From the snow-covered Northeast, Austin was quickly on his way to Honolulu from New York via Los Angeles to fill in for injured Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who is slowed by a knee injury.

“Definitely a climate change,” Austin said.

Austin will join teammates Jason Witten, DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, Andre Gurode and Mat McBriar in Honolulu. But he will be a tired traveler when he finally gets to the island at 12:30 p.m. Hawaiian time on Friday.

Austin caught 69 passes for 1,041 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010 after signing a six-year, $54 million extension in September. Austin had five 100-yard games in 2010 but he also had seven games in which he caught only two passes.

“I don’t know what people are feeling from the season or what they’re not feeling at the end of the season but I’ve just got to keep working hard and getting better,” Austin said. “I’m excited because I didn’t think I’d be playing football this year. Of course, I wanted it to be playoff games, but at least I’ll get to put the pads on one more time and see a bunch of the guys.”

He had a breakout season in 2009 when he caught 81 passes for 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns while seeing only full-time action in the final 12 games of the season. He is the first Cowboys wide receiver since Michael Irvin to play in consecutive Pro Bowls. Irvin played in five straight from 1991-95.

“It’s great anytime you can represent the NFC,” Austin said. “It shows from the fans, teammates, players, coaches kind of who they want to be there. I’ll never complain for showing up out there.”

Pro Bowl heads back to Honolulu

March, 2, 2010
It's not a surprise, but the Pro Bowl is headed back to Honolulu, Hawaii, the league announced today. The game will be played Jan. 30, a week before Super Bowl XLV is played at Cowboys Stadium.

It was interesting to note in the NFL release it said, "Decision follows success of 2010 game before Super Bowl."

That's funny but there were numerous complaints from players, fans, media and even organizations such as the Colts, upset or concerned about having the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl, the selection of the players and forcing the Pro Bowlers from the Super Bowl participants to arrive in Miami to get honored before the game.

This season, which could be the NFL's last due to a lockout, the Super Bowl is played on Feb. 6, 2011.

Might this 2010 season be the last Pro Bowl and Super Bowl we see for a while?

No franchise tag on Miles Austin, for now

February, 11, 2010
Thursday is the first day NFL teams can place franchise tags on players before the Feb. 25 deadline and everyone's favorite wide receiver, Miles Austin, is a restricted free agent and highly coverted by the Cowboys.

But a source close to the situation said the Cowboys will not place the tag on Austin, at least not right now.

If the Cowboys place the franchise tag on Austin, it would have to pay him the average of the top five salaries at his position from the previous season. Austin's take home before taxes would be $9.5 million.

Austin's agent, David Dunn, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said the organization would like to give Austin a long-term contract, probably five years, but if not Austin could get a first-and-third round tender offer. If that's the case, Austin's salary would be $3.168 million.

Any NFL team can match the contract, but it would have to give the Cowboys a first and third round pick.

Jason Garrett believes in Roy Williams

February, 10, 2010
In an interview with dallascowboys.com, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said he still believes in wide receiver Roy E. Williams.

It's hard to think things can get worse for Williams.

In 2009, Williams had 38 catches for 596 yards with seven touchdowns. Williams scored one touchdown the last four weeks of the season and had four one-catch games and 12 games with fewer than five catches.

There were times where it seemed quarterback Tony Romo didn't even know Williams was on the field. Williams said the number of throws he was getting were fewer and fewer as the season went on.

In the playoff loss to the Vikings, Williams was targeted just one time. He had zero catches.

Yet, Garrett thinks Williams can get better.

"Absolutely. Roy's approach is a good one," Garrett said to Dallascowboys.com. "Roy comes to work every day; he's a part of our off-season program. He works hard in practice. He and Tony spend some time together and they're going to continue to do that. There were a number of games this year where he was a big contributor to what we were doing. He had seven touchdown catches, made a lot of plays down in the red zone area."

The emergence of Miles Austin (1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns) pushed Williams from No. 1 receiving option to No. 3, behind tight end Jason Witten and in some situations, to No. 4 behind Patrick Crayton.

Austin's production in 2009 was just 10 yards better than Williams' best season, 1,310 yards in 2006, wher ehe went to the Pro Bowl. In fact, Williams has never had a double-digit year in touchdowns.

But Garrett is confident in Williams.

"We just need to continue to get him and Tony working together through the off-season again. They need another season under their belt," Garrett said. "There will be a comfort level that each will have with each other. Hopefully, he'll continue to be productive. He's been a good football player, and I know he thinks, and we think, that he can be better and better as we go forward."

The best part of this comment from Garrett is this: "They need another season under their belt."

Another season under their belt?

Sounds like an excuse for a lack of production for the $45 million wideout.

How the Cowboys did in Pro Bowl

February, 1, 2010
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. _ The Cowboys had nine players elected to the Pro Bowl in one form or another. Center Andre Gurode didn't show up because of knee surgery.

Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (left foot) and nose tackle Jay Ratliff (elbows) are also scheduled to undergo surgeries.

Now, for the game, won by the AFC, 41-34.

Tony Romo completed 13 of 18 passes for 154 yards with one interception for the NFC. Romo didn't come in until the second half and threw a pick to end a the last NFC drive of the game with 2:07 to play in the fourth quarter.

"I would say that the tempo picked up a little bit on the [AFC] defensive line," Romo said after the game. "I think Ray Lewis got to them to pick it up. It was still an enjoyable experience."

Wide receiver Miles Austin, making his first Pro Bowl appearance, had six catches for 49 yards. Tight end Jason Witten had three catches for 49 yards. Cornerback Terence Newman finished with a team-high six tackles and one tackle for loss. Cornerback Mike Jenkins, the Florida native making his first Pro Bowl appearance, had five tackles and one pass breakup. Ratliff had two tackles and a pass breakup, and Ware had three tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Ware even was credited with a special teams tackle. Leonard Davis was also in the game starting at right guard.

Here's Austin on the experience: "I’ve got my family out here with me. It’s obviously a very important thing to me. That being said, I’ve got a lot more work to do to get ready for next year. So I can enjoy this now but the goal is really to be playing in the Super Bowl. But I’ll take this in exchange if I can’t be playing in the Super Bowl."

Phillips: Glad to be back

January, 28, 2010
Wade Phillips, in Miami for the Pro Bowl with the rest of the Dallas' Cowboys coaching staff, talks with ESPN's Bob Holtzman about his new contract.

Romo, Jenkins earned Pro Bowl trips

January, 25, 2010
With the strange arrangement of playing the Pro Bowl a week before the Super Bowl, there will be some players in the league's all-star game that aren't exactly deserving.

That isn't the case for the two Dallas Cowboys who were invited today as injury replacements. Tony Romo and Mike Jenkins each had Pro Bowl-caliber seasons.

Romo, a three-time Pro Bowler now that he's filling in for Brett Favre, had arguably the best season of his career. He broke his own franchise records for completions (347), passing attempts (550), yards (4,483) and 300-yard games (eight) while drastically reducing his turnover total.

Jenkins, a 2008 first-round pick who replaces Minnesota's Antoine Winfield on the Pro Bowl roster, emerged as the Cowboys' top cornerback despite not becoming a full-time starter until the third week of the season. Playing primarily man coverage, Jenkins led the team with five interceptions while allowing fewer than half the passes thrown his direction to be completed.

C Gurode withdraws from Pro Bowl

January, 20, 2010
Cowboys center Andre Gurode is pulling out of the Pro Bowl because he will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery.

Along with punter Mat McBriar, Gurode is the second Cowboys player getting knee surgery this offseason.

Terence Newman makes the Pro Bowl

January, 20, 2010
Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman was added to the Pro Bowl roster on Wednesday as a replacment for Arizona's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who was injured in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Newman had three interceptions on the season and 21 pass breakups. Those numbers were second to second-year corner Mike Jenkins who grabbed five interceptions and 23 pass breakups.

It's the second time Newman has been named to the Pro Bowl and he's the seventh Cowboy named to the team.