IRVING, Texas -- From 2007-09 the Cowboys had 28 players in the Pro Bowl. Some of that was based off reputation and some of them were injury replacements. A lot of it was based off being on a winning team.
With a 4-8 record this year, the Cowboys don’t figure to have much representation in the Pro Bowl this season as the game returns to Hawaii.
DeMarcus Ware will be in the hunt at outside linebacker with 9.5 sacks and has played in the last four Pro Bowls. Jason Witten leads all NFL tight ends with 65 catches and has played in the last six Pro Bowls.
But there’s one guy that should be in the mix: punter Mat McBriar.
McBriar leads the NFL in gross average (48.2) and net average (41.9). His net average would have been a lot higher if not for the blocked punt by Indianapolis Sunday that was turned into a touchdown. The only other punter in franchise history to finish a season with a net-average of more than 40 yards was Sam Baker, who had 40.7 and 40.6 averages in 1962-63.
McBriar has some tough returners coming up, like Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson twice and Washington’s Brandon Banks but he has already limited the likes of Chicago’s Devin Hester and Tennessee’s Marc Mariani.
He has put 16 punts inside the 20. Opponents are averaging just 5.5 yards a return against the Cowboys. Maybe some of that is the coverage unit but that is made up by most of the same guys that are allowing 25.6 yards per kickoff return.
Clearly McBriar makes a difference and that’s why he should earn his second Pro Bowl berth.