Tuesday, December 27, 2011
DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff earn Pro Bowl
By Todd Archer
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.