The NFL might need to rethink the way it categorizes replacements to the Pro Bowl.
Injury replacements who are themselves injured apparently do not get Pro Bowl recognition, but the players who replace them in the annual all-star game do qualify in the NFL's eyes.
These things matter in the bigger picture because Pro Bowls are one measure for evaluating whether a player should gain enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. If Romo became a three-time Pro Bowl choice only because Warner's ribs were too sore for him to play in the game, should Warner's health prevent him from claiming a fifth Pro Bowl on his résumé?
Brett Favre, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers were voted to the Pro Bowl from the NFC this season. Brees became ineligible when the Saints advanced to the Super Bowl. Donovan McNabb replaced Brees as first alternate. Favre withdrew, citing an ankle injury. Warner was next in line as second alternate. Romo was the third alternate.
The Cardinals and the NFL would not confirm the order for alternates, but Warner's agent, Mark Bartelstein, said Warner was in line for a spot on the NFC roster. Josh Ellis, writing for the Cowboys' Web site, identified Warner as the second alternate, ahead of Romo. The NFL would confirm only that Warner will not get credit for a Pro Bowl season. Romo will get credit.
Vikings receiver Percy Harvin, named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate, also could lose Pro Bowl honors after withdrawing because of injury (I am checking on his status). The NFL named Harvin to the game as a return specialist after the Eagles' DeSean Jackson qualified at two positions (receiver and return specialist).