Of course, nothing would please those of us who bleed blue and silver more than to have some deserving Dallas Cowboys be forced to blow off a well deserved trip to paradise in favor of a trip to New York City in winter, but none the less, there are some guys who are deserving of consideration as Pro Bowl candidates. Let's take a quick look at the guys who deserve to represent the star in the Pro Bowl.
Jason Hatcher - 2013 has been a career season for Hatch. He has emerged as the leader of Rod Marinelli's rushmen, both on and off the playing surface. Playing through shoulder issues, Jason has already doubled his career high for sacks in a season, and the season still has four weeks to go. In addition to his nine quarterback sacks, Hatcher has also accounted for 34 tackles this year. As the heart and soul of the Cowboys defensive line, he has arguably been the most valuable defensive player on the Dallas defense this season.
Sean Lee - Despite suffering a hamstring injury that took him out of the game against the Saints, and caused him to miss the contests with the Giants and Raiders, Lee has accounted for 93 tackles on the season, a mark which is just a dozen short of his career high. He has also added four interceptions, equalling his career best from 2011. Combining his physical skill with a high football IQ, Sean Lee is the man who makes the Cowboys defense go. In addition to all he provides the team on the field, away from the game, it is Lee who makes Chuck Norris eat his broccoli.
Orlando Scandrick - Perhaps the most under-rated of all the Dallas defensive starters, Scandrick has proven himself this season. We all saw what Scandrick did to the salsa dancing WR from the New York Giants last Sunday, but what has gone somewhat untalked about this year is that he has become the Cowboys best cornerback in 2013. Orlando has been targeted 59 times this season and has only allowed 27 receptions and a pair of scores. Both touchdowns have been offset by a pair of interceptions. Scandrick has also added a sack off of a cornerback blitz and he has accounted for 45 tackles.
Dan Bailey - "Split'em" Bailey is the Cowboys most reliable scoring weapon. For 2013, "Dead Eye" Dan is 19 for 21 on field goal attempts including a career long of 53 yards, and he has added 36 PATs for a total of 93 points. Although he is actually on a pace for his lowest scoring season, this is due to the fact that he is not getting as many field goal attempts thanks to Dallas being more successful in scoring touchdowns. Bailey is also showing improved leg strength as he continues to hammer the ball deep into (or out of) the endzone on kick-offs.
Tyron Smith - The Dallas left tackle is showing the ability that the team saw when they made him the ninth overall selection in the 2011 draft. Over the course of the season, Smith has had to face some of the NFL's premier pass rushers, including guys like Kerrigan, Orakpo, and Pierre-Paul twice. He has also gone up against the likes of Tamba Hali and, most recently, Lamarr Houston. He is more than holding his own. For 2013, Smith has surrendered just one sack through 12 games.
Dez Bryant - Bryant's natural ability forces teams to pay serious attention to him, and he consistantly draws double teams. For the season, the Cowboys top receiver has 68 catches for nearly 900 yards, and he still has four games left to play. He has found the endzone nine times so far. In recent weeks, Bryant has shown that he is not just an outside guy, as the Cowboys have started to move him around in the formation in an attempt to counter the constant double coverage. With the return of Miles Austin, who will also help to alleviate some of the double teams, Bryant should have a strong closing quarter of the season.
Tony Romo - The controversial quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys knows better than most the meaning of "damned if you do; damned if you don't". That is the nature of playing QB in Dallas. For 2013, Romo has thrown a total of 24 touchdown passes against only seven interceptions for a nice 3.5:1 ratio. He is on pace to once again surpass the 4,000 yard mark for the season. As of right now, Romo's passer rating stands at 97.3. This includes five games where he was over the 100 barrier. On a team that some in the media claim is void of leadership, several times this season Tony Romo's teammates have credited his determination and leadership in the huddle with being the difference between winning and losing.
There you have them, folks. Seven Dallas Cowboys who have played key roles for the team this season. Each has proven his mettle on the field and deserves serious Pro Bowl consideration. Will all earn the trip to Hawaii? That is highly doubtful, but some will. Who do you think deserves to represent the blue and silver in this year's Pro Bowl?
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