Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cowboys Pro Bowl

Yesterday I received a text message from my friend Brad who put it so much better than I ever could:

"So I guess in the pro bowl its the Cowboys against the AFC.   Geez"

And as a Cowboys fan, I'm loving it.  Granted I know there is still a much bigger, more important prize out there that one team will claim in Glendale, Ariz., but until then, the Pro Bowl represents just how talented the 2007 Cowboys are.

Last season, Dallas sent four players to the Pro Bowl.  This season, they have 11 (including seven starters).  The Cowboys have seven players on offense alone, and three of them are starting linemen (Flozell Adams, Leonard Davis and Andre Gurode).  Oh, and Roy Williams is the first alternate at strong safety, so he will be the one to go in place of the Redskins safety Shawn Taylor.  That makes a total of 12 Cowboys.

The only reason punter Mat McBriar isn't going to Honolulu is because the Cowboys offense has been too good - he hasn't had enough opportunities to prove himself.

While it is easy to get caught up rejoicing for the Pro Bowl players, the most important thing to realize is the expectations that are set when 11 players on one roster are named all-pro.  That team better find its way out of the conference and into the Super Bowl.

This puts the pressure on.

Think about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The NFC South champions represent a division that didn't have one pro bowl selection --- the ENTIRE DIVISION!  So what pressure is on them in the playoffs?

We'll find out how the 'Boys respond to last week's upset at the hands of the division rival Eagles.  Perhaps the Carolina Panthers will serve as a stepping stone to clinching home-field throughout the playoffs.

As a fan I hope the Pro Bowl selection serves the team by raising their expectations and raising their own personal bar.  For players who treat the selection as the end-point goal, those teams are the ones who get a little more time off come January. 

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