Otto Greule Jr
It's nothing but a popularity contest anyway, right?
Don't worry. In an hour or so, your outrage over the Pro Bowl rosters will be gone. The players from your favorite team that were totally screwed out of some recognition they probably don't really care about to begin with will be OK. Hell, they'll probably get in as alternates anyway. Since I managed to catch you while it still hurts, here are 15 players that got snubbed from the Pro Bowl rosters this year.
Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Imagine Romo's stats without Dez Bryant's monster season, especially over the second half of the season to keep the Cowboys relavant and in the mix for a postseason spot. He leads the league with 12 receiving touchdowns.
Thomas DeCloud, S, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta's secondary is among the more underrated groups in the league this season. DeCloud has six interceptions so far this year. Opposing quarterbacks have a 55.6 rating against him. More impressive, his play hasn't dropped off since his fellow safety William Moore missed the last three games with a hamstring injury.
It feels wrong to put a lineman from the Jets on this list, especially after an 11-sack performance in Week 16. That wasn't really Ferguson's fault, though. He's allowed only two sacks this season. He's an island of competency in a world of butt fumbles.
Here's further proof that the Pro Bowl overlooks players from bad teams. Hardy has more sacks than Jason Pierre-Paul, who was picked as a starter. He's also been pretty good against the run. Only two 4-3 defensive ends have more stops than Hardy, according to the numbers at Pro Football Focus. You can make a pretty good case for his fellow Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson being snubbed here, too.
The Eagles were shut out of the Pro Bowl completely, another sign of just how far things have fallen there. Still, Mathis deserved a shot. Like Ferguson in New York, he's been an outstanding player on a terrible team. Mathis is the highest rated guard at Pro Football Focus, and it's not even close. He leads Marshall Yanda of the Ravens, a starter for the AFC, by more than 20 points in PFF's metric. Mathis has allowed one sack and been a beast in run blocking. It's not his fault nobody on the team can hang onto the ball.
RGIII deserves the attention he gets; he really is that good. However, it's impossible to talk about the rookie quarterback's success without mentioning his running back. I can't imagine Washington's offense being this productive without Morris.
Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Ha ha. I'm just kidding. Points for Pro Bowl voters not trolling us by sending Romo to Hawaii this year. Actually, Romo's stats are pretty good. He really has as much of a case for being here as any other quarterback in the mix.
Rudolph's nine touchdowns are the second-most among tight ends. It's sort of a shock when you realize that the second-year tight end has just 473 yards to go with his scores. Then again, Christian Ponder is averaging less than six yards per attempt. Nearly half of Rudolphs yards have come after the catch. He's like Gronkowski without the antics. Speaking of which, Rudolph needs to step up his zany just a little next year.
Sherman's snub is the most obvious one. The selection process overlooked his seven interceptions, 15 passes defensed and opposing quarterback rating of 45.6. How does this happen? There isn't a better cover corner in the league right now.
Just because Chan Gailey doesn't like to give his running back the ball -- he also seems to have an aversion to winning games -- doesn't mean Spiller deserves to watch everyone else laugh their way through the Pro Bowl. He's averaging 6.5 yards per carry along with 12 runs of 20 yards or more. Only Adrian Peterson has more big plays. Spiller has only fumbled once too.
John Sullivan, C, Minnesota Vikings
No center has been better, according to the stats at PFF. According to the numbers at PFF, Sullivan has allowed only two sacks and eight more pressures. Adrian Peterson isn't the only reason Christian Ponder looks like a marginally competent quarterback this season.
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver
Maybe Thomas got snubbed because he helped make Tim Tebow a folk hero. It wasn't Tebow's incredible accuracy that made those throws to Thomas work last year. Playing with Peyton Manning puts him in the shadows again, but all you have to do is look at Thomas' 500+ yards after the catch to know where he belongs.
There's not much to like about the Cardinals this season. Washington has a lot to do with why this team actually won five games this season. He does a little bit of everything, as evidenced by his nine sacks and 123 total tackles.
Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, New York Jets
The Jets defense has been a minor miracle this season, keeping that team reasonable competitive from week to week. It's pretty impressive. Wilkerson has probably been the team's best player without Darrelle Revis this season. He's got five sacks and 52 stops for his efforts.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
I don't have a problem with the quarterbacks picked in the NFC. However, you can make a pretty strong argument that Wilson is as deserving as RGIII for being included in the mix. Wilson is two touchdowns away from breaking Peyton Manning's rookie record, and his offense is only averaging 50 points a game over its last three.