The fan voting for the Pro Bowl concluding on Monday this week, and with it, one third of the Pro Bowl vote is in. The Pro Bowl players are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches, with each group’s vote counting one-third toward determining the All-Star players. In total 86 players (plus two long snappers) will be selected to the Pro Bowl.
NFL players and coaches will cast their votes on Friday, December 19, but the NFL today announced the results of the fan vote. 18 Dallas Cowboys players rank in the Top 10 at their respective positions, according to data from the NFL. Here's the full table of all 18 Cowboys, where they rank at their positions, and how many Pro Bowl berths are available for that specific position.
|COWBOYS PRO BOWL FAN VOTING LEADERS|
|Player||Position||Votes||Pos. Rk. (Prev)||Avail. Berths|
|Green denotes Pro Bowls players based on the final fan vote.|
A record Pro Bowl haul for the Cowboys?
To get to the required 86 players, more players will be added to the Pro Bowl roster either as injury replacements or as replacements for Super Bowl-bound players, so a player could still make the Pro Bowl if he is ranked fifth or sixth, even though his position may only officially have four spots available.
Going strictly by the available spots and the final fan vote, nine Cowboys would make the Pro Bowl: DeMarco Murray, Travis Frederick, Tyron Smith, Dan Bailey, Dez Bryant, Zack Martin, Doug Free, Ronald Leary, and Tony Romo - eight offensive players and one special teamer.
If we allow for injury replacements, Super Bowl-subs, and generous voting by coaches and players, that list could potentially extend to include Jason Witten, Jeff Heath, Barry Church, Rolando McClain, and perhaps Henry Melton.
With those names, there's a remote chance the Cowboys could equal the 2007 franchise record of 13 Pro Bowlers this year, and a double-digit total may be in reach for only the sixth time in franchise history (2007: 13, 1993: 11, 1994: 11, 1995: 10, 1967: 10).
Cowboys have the second-most players in the top tens by position
The fan vote, as biased as it is, is part of the Pro Bowl voting process. As such, players from some teams will be more popular than players from other teams, irrespective of their actual performance. Those are the facts of life. Of the 190 players ranked in the top ten across the positions in the final fan vote, here's the distribution by team:
|Team||No. of Players||Team||No. of Players|
|Green Bay Packers||20||San Diego Chargers||3|
|Dallas Cowboys||18||Arizona Cardinals||3|
|Cleveland Browns||18||Minnesota Vikings||3|
|Denver Broncos||14||Carolina Panthers||3|
|New England Patriots||13||New Orleans Saints||3|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||12||New York Jets||3|
|Seattle Seahawks||11||Buffalo Bills||3|
|Indianapolis Colts||9||St. Louis Rams||2|
|Philadelphia Eagles||8||Washington Redskins||2|
|Baltimore Ravens||8||Oakland Raiders||2|
|Detroit Lions||6||Houston Texans||2|
|Chicago Bears||5||Cincinnati Bengals||1|
|San Francisco 49ers||4||Tennessee Titans||1|
|Kansas City Chiefs||4||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1|
|Miami Dolphins||4||New York Giants||1|
|Atlanta Falcons||3||Jacksonville Jaguars||0|
With 18 players on the 190-strong list of players ranked in the top ten across the positions, the Cowboys contribute almost 10% of the entire player pool, and rank second only to the Packers, who contribute 20 players in the fan vote. The Cowboys also have more players on the list than the rest of the NFC East combined.
After the players and coaches have cast their votes, the Pro Bowl players will be announced on Tuesday, December 23. Players are selected without regard to conference in voting by fans, coaches and players. For example, the top eight wide receivers with the most votes will earn a Pro Bowl berth, regardless of how many are from AFC or NFC teams.
Players will later be assigned to teams through the Pro Bowl Draft during the week leading up to the game. Two Hall of Famers, wide receivers Michael Irvin and Cris Carter, have been selected as the alumni captains. Last season marked the first "unconferenced" Pro Bowl, in which players were drafted by captains Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders.
The Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, site of Super Bowl XLIX.