Tuesday, December 29, 2009
NFC East Pro Bowl analysis
By Dan Graziano
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Perfect sense: I'm glad that the voters rewarded DeSean Jackson for a huge season. He's the first player in Pro Bowl history to be elected as a kick returner and wide receiver in the same season. Pretty remarkable stuff. Obviously, Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware needed to be the starter. His numbers might be a little down, but he's still the most dynamic pass-rusher in the league and coaches and players realize that. It's also hard to argue with Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel as a starter. He's once again putting up huge numbers in terms of interceptions and quarterbacks always have to account for him. It's great that Eagles defensive end Trent Cole and Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo made the team. Cole's one of the most underappreciated players in the league. And I'm really glad the players and coaches recognized Orakpo's excellent rookie season. Both of those players are reserves. I also don't have any problem with Eagles fullback Leonard Weaver being named a starter. I'm sure some Vikings fans are upset with that pick, but Weaver's put up excellent numbers both catching and running the ball. I think David Akers totally deserves to go for the Eagles. He had an excellent season and he continues to be a clutch kicker.
Made it on rep: Cowboys center Andre Gurode should not be starting in the Pro Bowl, and I think he'd even tell you that. This has not been one of his better seasons, so this was totally based on reputation. I think players and coaches get the offensive linemen wrong more than any other unit on the field. I also think Cowboys right guard Leonard Davis made it as a reserve based on reputation, and the same thing goes for Eagles left tackle Jason Peters. I think Giants center Shaun O'Hara's a good player, but there's no way he deserves a spot on the Pro Bowl roster over Chris Snee. I'm hoping I missed something because Snee deserves the spot on the team over O'Hara.
Got robbed: Shame on the fans for not putting Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff higher on their list. The last time I checked, he wasn't even in the top five in the fan voting. The coaches and the players made sure he at least made it as a reserve. I understand putting Kevin Williams as a starter, but give me a break on Darnell Dockett. I think that's ridiculous. For the Eagles, I think cornerback Sheldon Brown and tight end Brent Celek should have been on the team. They're both alternates, but that doesn't cut it. Brown has played through injuries and been excellent this season. Celek simply had to overcome too many big names. Vernon Davis had an excellent season for the 49ers and Witten finished strong for the Cowboys. I could make an argument that Celek should've made it in front of Witten. Just look at the huge discrepancy in touchdowns. And I would've put Donovan McNabb or Tony Romo in front of Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. Rodgers put up a lot of empty numbers in the first half of the season and he takes entirely too many sacks. That's a bad choice by the coaches and players. Romo and McNabb were at their best in December. I also hoped that coaches and player would right a longtime wrong and put London Fletcher in the Pro Bowl. It didn't happen. I guess the guy will never get voted in. That's too bad. He had an excellent season. Same goes for Andre Carter. He had 134 tackles, which was second in the league. One more guy that was robbed: Giants wide receiver Steve Smith. He should have at least been a reserve.