I know many of you hate PFF and their metrics. I'd rather not get into a discussion as to how valid they are, but instead look at this like one person's view of the performances of the team.
As you probably know, the NFL is handling the Pro Bowl a little different this year. Instead of voting by conference, they are taking the best players at the position regardless of conference. The fans combine to get one vote of many, but you can still vote on NFL.com. It opened yesterday. I thought it would be fun to look at PFF's rating and see who they would vote for Pro Bowlers if the vote was today.
Based on the average number of players at each position, the quick answer seems to be: 5
Let's take a look at the specifics by each positional grouping.
QB - Romo would just miss the cut according to PFF. He's ranked 8th and the Pro Bowl would take the top 6 players. Of course I'm not taking into account injured players or Super Bowl players who require replacements, but discounting those things Romo would be on the outside looking in.
HB - Believe it or not, Murray would be close as well. He's ranked 10th, even with missing a week. If he can come back and make a push, he's got a chance.
WR - Here's our first Pro Bowler in Dez Bryant. He's ranked 5th. They take 8 WRs (and only 6 CBs, which makes no sense) and Dez is firmly in the top 8. BTW, it's so silly how the Pro Bowl takes a disproportionately higher amount of QBs and WRs, the sexy positions. In case you were wondering, Terence Williams ranks 67th, which is not terrible for a rookie.
TE - Witten is 10th, and they only take 4 at this position. Might be hard to make it this year with the seasons Gonzalez, Graham, Cameron and Vernon Davis are having. Can you guess the top rated TE to PFF? Ben Hartsock, of course. Powerful run blocker is the top rated TE even with a negative pass catching number.
OL - We would get one here. Not Tyron. Not even Fredbeard. It's Free. He's the 5th rated Tackle. His grades have been high all season. If he didn’t have so many penalties, he would be even higher. Tyron is the 23rd rated Tackle. Frederick the 12th rated Center. Waters 18th and Leary 38th at Guard.
DL - Ironic that this seems to be our weakest position yet its where we dominate here. Hatcher is the top rated DT. Yep, best in the league. Highest score on the team. But this might be even more shocking ... Ware is 4th! We would have two PB DLinemen. And Selvie is rated 13th, not too far off the path. But Nick Hayden is dead last in the league, 67th.
LB - Of course Lee makes it. He's 2nd for an ILB. Carter is 25th at OLB.
DB - I was expecting Carr to be in the top 6, but he checks in at 10th. He can still make it to the Pro Bowl with a few more games like his last two. Actually, he's not the closest to making the team. Church is the 9th raked Safety. Wilcox is 37th out of 84, which is impressing for a 4th round rookie who has played a season and a half at that position. Scandrick is 62nd and Claiborne 90th.
Special Teams - I was really surprised Dwayne Harris wasn’t rated higher than he was. On the coverage unit, he wasn’t listed as a top performer. And on returns he was 7th. Although his stats would warrant a spot on the team.Still, five is not bad. I would be happy to have Dez, Free, Ware, Hatcher, and Lee represent the team. With a decent shot for Romo, Witten, Tyron, Carr, Church, and Harris. Let me know if you enjoy this piece and if so, I will provide updates as the season goes along.