Empty Pro Bowl numbers for Cowboys?
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Dallas Morning News columnist and ESPN "Around the Horn" regular Tim Cowlishaw came up with an interesting take on the Cowboys' 13 Pro Bowl representatives this morning. He doesn't think any team is worthy of that many Pro Bowlers and thinks Cowboys fans (and their head coach) shouldn't put too much stock in that number.
"In light of that, we should be careful about throwing around that whole '13 Cowboys thing,'" writes Cowlishaw. "Yes, Dallas and New England play in different conferences, but it leaves the perception that this Cowboys team is so deep it can only stop itself."
Tim thinks that Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware were no-brainers, and I would agree. He thinks the Cowboys landed three offensive linemen (Andre Gurode, Leonard Davis and Flozell Adams), in part, because the offense put up huge numbers. It's much harder for voters to measure offensive linemen, but it's tough to argue against any of those guys. Gurode has passed Olin Kreutz as the best center in the NFC (at least temporarily), Adams is still dominant at times and Davis is coming off the best season of his career. Running back Marion Barber emerged as one of the most powerful backs in football, but he did benefit from other running backs having a down season. Barber missed the 1,000-yard mark by 25 yards.
The Cowboys struggled in the secondary all season -- yet somehow landed three players in the Pro Bowl. Safety Roy Williams' appearance was borne out of tragedy and Terence Newman may have been handed a lifetime achievement award for being snubbed in the past. He had a nice season, but he was also banged up early and wasn't quite himself. Safety Ken Hamlin brought stability at the back of the defense, but you could've easily made an argument that cornerback Anthony Henry (six interceptions) was just as good.
At the end of his column, Cowlishaw makes the mistake of lumping Nick Folk in with a host of other kickers. Yes, it's hard to separate some of those guys, but what Folk did in Buffalo on "Monday Night Football" put him over the top.
Anybody disagree? I'd love to hear from you.