According the poll, less than 50% of the BTB community said they would make an effort to watch last night's Pro Bowl. It wasn't a very interesting game, as the NFC clearly was the team that was better prepared. Our home conference raced out to a 42-0 lead behind numerous big plays on both sides of the pigskin. The final score was 55-41, but that misleads you into thinking that it was a scintillating comeback. It wasn't. Want to know what set the tone? After a three and out on the games first possession, Dallas punter Mat McBriar boomed a punt towards the near sideline. Tennessee's excellent return man Marc Mariani let the punt hit the turf, expecting it to go out of bounds. Instead, the punt stayed in bounds and bounced down the field for a total of 70 yards! McBriar not an first team All-Pro? I think not! That sole punt was the only action that McBriar saw during the game.
Let's take a quick look at the performances by the Cowboys in the game.
---Miles Austin was only targeted twice, making one catch. It was a nice third down sideline grab thrown by Mike Vick in the first quarter for eight yards and a first. Austin also had two special teams tackles.
---Jason Witten was only targeted twice as well. His catch came late in the game, on a play called in by Jay Glazer, part of the gimmicky nature of the Pro Bowl. Does the NFL think this helps people having an interest in the game?
---On the first play from scrimmage after the NFC took a 7-0 lead, Jay Ratliff stuck his big paw up in the air and deflected a Phillip Rivers pass that was intercepted by the Redskins London Fletcher. Ratliff finished the game with 3 tackles (2 solo) and that pass deflection.
---DeMarcus Ware played the game from the 4-3 MLB position. I guess this was a testament to his versatility. He ended the game with one tackle.
---Andre Gurode got a lot of run, and seemed to be getting great push in the run game. The NFC finished with 184 yards, a 5.0 average per carry and three touchdowns.
Head coach of the NFC side, Mike Smith, clearly had it in his gameplan to reward the players under his charge. Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez were one and two atop the NFC catches and targets lists. JAG cornerback DeAngelo Hall won the game MVP award and obligatory free vehicle. Here's how I'll always think of DeAngelo: