NFC East: Mat McBiar
But that list pales in comparison to the 2009 All-Beast team, which you guys helped select in the comments section. At last glance, there were 278 responses to my blog item requesting your participation. I secured a local accounting firm in Dallas to tally your votes and I came up with my own list separately. Now let's take a look at the All-Beast team, with selected comments from some of my thoughtful readers:
Reader comment: Barbarian will says: Romo has a better quarterback rating, threw for more yards and touchdwowns, threw one less interception, had a better completion rating, and outperformed McNabb in the three games they played head-to-head.RB: Felix Jones, Cowboys: I know starter Marion Barber had more yards, but Jones emerged late in the season as a true big-play threat. He had four carries of more than 40 yards and it's now obvious that he should be the Cowboys' starting running back.
Reader comment: NYBigBlue says: Most Giants fans can agree Bradshaw doesn't belong on the list for '09. But then again, Jones and McCoy are the only guys I'd put ahead of him in the division. It's not like Barber had a good year either, Choice wasn't used enough, and Westbrook and Portis were injured for much of the season. I'd argue Bradshaw possibly over Jacobs I guess for the third spot. Speaking of which...the Pro Bowl takes three of them, so add Bradshaw to my RBs.
TE: Brent Celek, Eagles: You guys had some interesting thoughts at this position. But in the end, Celek's eight touchdowns trumped Jason Witten's eye-popping 94 receptions. Celek emerged as one of McNabb's most-reliable weapons. Witten is still the better all-around tight end at this point, but Celek had the better season.
WR: DeSean Jackson, Eagles: It's so ridiculous that the league ranks receivers in terms of receptions. By that measure, Jackson's down the list. But to me, it's about what you do with the receptions that truly counts. Steve Smith was superb this season, but he doesn't strike fear in cornerbacks like Jackson. Smith was second only to Wes Welker in receptions with 107, but Jackson averaged 7 more yards per catch and had two more touchdowns.
WR: Miles Austin, Cowboys: Only Jackson and Houston's Andre Johnson had more touchdowns of 40 yards or more. Austin had his breakout game against the Chiefs in the first half of the season and never lost steam. He surpassed both Jackson and Smith in total receiving yards, and he led the talented trio with 11 touchdowns. He basically saved the Cowboys' season, so let's give him the nod.
Flozell Adams, Cowboys: I've been highly critical of Adams for his personal fouls, but he did have a pretty nice season. He was at his best down the stretch. He's a nasty player who can still dominate a game at times. Will he be the starter at left tackle next season? We'll know soon enough.
OT: Jason Peters, Eagles: I thought he had a somewhat disappointing season. Like Adams, Peters is a heavily-penalized player. Counting the playoff game, he was hit with a team-leading 11 penalties this season. But he's still athletic enough to shut down some of the game's top pass-rushers at times. David Diehl's not far behind Peters, but I'll give the former Razorback the nod.
G: Kyle Kosier, Cowboys: Here's my upset special. I realize that Leonard Davis is headed to the Pro Bowl, but the scouts I've talked to said that Kosier had the better season. He did a really nice job pulling and working in space. He didn't hold up well against the Williams Wall, but you can say that about a lot of players.
C: Shaun O'Hara, Giants: Andre Gurode received the nod in the Pro Bowl, but O'Hara had the better season. And it seems like Eagles, Skins and Giants fans agreed with me in the comments section.