Friday, December 18, 2009
Beast lagging in Pro Bowl fan voting
By Dan Graziano
The league sent over the Pro Bowl fan voting tabulations through Dec. 14 and it looks like the NFC East has fallen off the pace. I thought for sure that Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson would be among the top-10 in the overall (both conferences) totals but that's not the case. And the fact that Brent Celek's not among the top five tight ends in the NFC voting is a travesty. Here's where you go to vote.
Now let's update you on players from the NFC East who are at least in the top five at their respective positions:
Quarterbacks: 5. Donovan McNabb, Eagles: He's trailing Kurt Warner by about 60,000 votes. And Drew Brees and Brett Favre are in a tight race for the top spot.
Wide receivers: 2. DeSean Jackson, Eagles; 3. Miles Austin, Cowboys: Jackson has 377,807 votes but he's not going to catch Larry Fitzgerald. But it does look like he'll start for the NFC in the Pro Bowl unless Austin can make up about 39,000 votes on him. Of course, let's remember that the fan voting is only one-third of the process.
Tight ends: 4. Jason Witten, Cowboys: He has 243,220 votes and he'll get a strong push from the coaches and players. Right now he trails Tony Gonzalez, Jeremy Shockey and Vernon Davis. Shockey's had a nice season but he doesn't deserve to go in front of Witten. Eagles fans need to go online immediately and help out Celek. His numbers are off the charts this season.
Centers: 3. Shaun O'Hara, Giants; 4. Andre Gurode, Cowboys: With 204,300 votes, O'Hara is well behind Jonathan Goodwin from the Saints. John Sullivan of the Vikings is in first place.
Offensive tackles: 4. Flozell Adams, Cowboys: The players and coaches will give him a decent push but I don't think he'll make it this season. The Vikings' two tackles, Bryant McKinnie and Phil Loadholt are in the lead.
Guards: 5. Chris Snee, Giants: Even in a down season for the Giants, Snee has played pretty well. He should at least be two or three.
Fullbacks: 2. Leonard Weaver, Eagles; 3. Deon Anderson, Cowboys; 5. Madison Hedgecock, Giants. Weaver has brought another dimension to the Eagles' offense with his running ability. Anderson's a pretty good point of attack guy. Looks like Weaver has a lot of catching up to do on Naufahu Tahi of the Vikings.
Strong safety: 5. Gerald Sensabaugh, Cowboys: Pretty impressive in first half of season. Has played through a hand injury.
Cornerback: 1. Asante Samuel, Eagles: Close race between Samuel and the Packers' Charles Woodson. I expect Woodson to edge out Samuel once the coaches and players vote. But these will be your two starters. I thought Mike Jenkins or Sheldon Brown could've cracked the top five.
Defensive end: 3. Osi Umenyiora, Giants; 4. Justin Tuck, Giants: I like both of those players, but this is when you know it's about popularity. It's ridiculous that Trent Cole's not among the top five. And Andre Carter of the Redskins should be in there, too.
Defensive tackles: 3. Albert Haynesworth, Redskins: He's been pretty effective when he's actually in uniform. Absolutely ridiculous that Jay Ratliff's not on this list. The coaches and players will take care of him.
Free safeties: 5. Ken Hamlin, Cowboys: This is based on past accomplishments because Hamlin hasn't been a factor this season.
Inside linebackers: 4. Keith Brooking, Cowboys; 5. London Fletcher, Redskins: This is bound to upset Redskins fans. The guy's had another great season but the Susan Lucci of NFL linebackers could remain on the outside looking in. Even Lucci broke through at some point. Brooking's had an excellent season and deserves to be in the mix.
Kick returners: 2. DeSean Jackson, Eagles; 5. Allen Rossum, Cowboys: He's trailing Percy Harvin. I think Jackson is by far the best punt returner but the Pro Bowl voting doesn't draw a distinction between the two return jobs. Rossum had one return and pulled up lame on that one before eventually being released.
Outside linebackers: 1. DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys: Leads all outside linebackers with nearly 341,000 votes. I wouldn't mind seeing Brian Orakpo of the Redskins in the top five. Lance Briggs and Clay Matthews were Nos. 4 and 5.
Kickers: 2. David Akers, Eagles; 4. Nick Folk, Cowboys: Akers totally deserves it. Folk's fortunate to still be employed at this point in the season. Akers will have a lot of ground to make up on the Vikings' Ryan Longwell.
Punters: 2. Jeff Feagles, Giants; 4. Mat McBriar, Cowboys: McBriar's quietly having a huge season. Hopefully the coaches and players will recognize that.
Special teamers: 2. Sam Hurd, Cowboys; 5. Chase Blackburn, Giants: Hurd's overtaken Pat Watkins as the Cowboys' top special teams player this season. Blackburn's a solid special teams guy but I think Bryan Kehl has actually been better than him.