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Is Andre Gurode The Cowboys Player Most Underappreciated By Fans?

Andre Gurode made the NFL Network's The Top 100: Players of 2011 yesterday, coming in a comfortable 57th, a surprise for many, including most Cowboys fans. For the series, 413 active NFL players cast their votes to determine who the top 100 playmakers in the NFL are today.

That means that Andre Gurode was voted by his NFL peers ahead of teammates Miles Austin (70), Tony Romo (72) and Jay Ratliff (75) as well as many other top notch NFL players, including Colts center Jeff Saturday (59), the only other center on the list so far.

Traditionally, both among Cowboys fans and other NFL pundits, Gurode is not held in high esteem. Peter King for example was "surprised Gurode made the list at all", and whenever Gurode has received some accolades in the past, somebody would inevitably rationalize that Gurode only stands out at his position because of a below average group of NFC centers to compare him with. His ability to make line calls is constantly being questioned and his personal interpretation of the snap count is already the stuff of legends.

Yet the man was voted to five successive Pro Bowls by coaches and players. And trust me on this, Gurode was not the winner of the fan vote on those Pro Bowl ballots. And once again, the NFL players reconfirm their previous votes of the last five years by voting Gurode one of the top 60 players in the NFL. Perhaps it's time to reassess our picture of Andre Gurode.

Remember when Dez Bryant got into the headlines with all his financial and trouser-related shenanigans, who was it that publicly reached out to Bryant and then met the rookie wide receiver for "The Talk" over dinner? Andre Gurode, that's who.

Gurode may never become a fan favorite in Dallas, but judging by what his peers think of him, he'll likely be one of those guys who will only be fully appreciated once he's gone.

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