Monday, December 19, 2011
What are Cowboys' Pro Bowl chances?
By Todd Archer
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 Bailey – Nick 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.