By Shawn Lealos
The Dallas Cowboys need one more victory in their final two games to win the NFC East and clinch a first-round bye in the NFL playoffs. However, despite the fact that they have the NFC’s best record and have beaten everyone on their schedule except the New York Giants, the Cowboys somehow finished with less players in the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl than two other teams, both of which have worse records than Dallas. Here is a look at the 2017 Pro Bowl choices and other Dallas Cowboys news for Week 16 of the NFL season.
Dallas Cowboys Get Five Players Into Pro Bowl
The Atlanta Falcons (9-5) had seven players chosen for this year’s Pro Bowl. The Oakland Raiders (11-3) had six players chosen for the honor. The Dallas Cowboys (12-2) were tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) and Tennessee Titans (8-6) with five players each. The big surprise there is the Titans, who may not even make the playoffs this year if they can’t pass the Houston Texans in the AFC South.
The Cowboys who made the Pro Bowl this year were all offensive players, which should come as little surprise. Quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott, and offensive linemen Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and Tyron Smith were the names chosen. While the Dallas Cowboys’ defense has been underrated this entire season, the absence of Sean Lee is surprising. Lee has 140 tackles this season, 90 of them solo stops. Only the Seattle Seahawks Bobby Wagner has more tackles than Sean Lee.
“Sean not being voted into the Pro Bowl is a huge mistake,” Tony Romo told ESPN. “I think Sean Lee is the best linebacker in the NFL. I see him every day and should know his weaknesses. I still can’t find any.”
Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott Make History
The list of offensive linemen who made the Pro Bowl isn’t surprising, because all three of those players also made the Pro Bowl the last two years; this is Smith’s fourth Pro Bowl trip. However, Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott mark the first time that two Dallas Cowboys rookies made the Pro Bowl. It is also the first time that a quarterback-running back rookie duo ever made the Pro Bowl together in their first season.
Ezekiel Elliott is a no-brainer. He leads the NFL in rushing with 1,551 yards—which is also a Cowboys’ rookie record—and his 1,902 all-purpose yards is second best in the NFL behind only David Johnson, another Pro Bowl selection. Former Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray ranks second in rushing and fourth in all-purpose yards this season and is headed back to the Pro Bowl as well for the Tennessee Titans.
Dak Prescott was no surprise either, as he has gotten MVP talk recently. As a matter of fact, Prescott and Elliott led the Pro Bowl fan voting for much of the year. Prescott has the third best QB rating in the NFL with 103.2 and is fourth in completion percentage at 67.7 percent. Prescott made the Pro Bowl over names like Matthew Stafford, Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson.
WWE Superstar Teaches Dallas Cowboys Intimidation
In some light Dallas Cowboys news this week, WWE Hall of Fame legend Sting filmed a fun segment with the Cowboys. While Sting is California-born, he has said he has been a Dallas Cowboys fan his entire life and he actually lives in the DFW area now.
Sting, who retired from the WWE after suffering a career-ending injury in 2015, filmed a segment where he joined the team as their “Intimidation Coach.” Sting got to interact with Ezekiel Elliott, Jason Witten and more as he taught them intimidation tactics. A highlight was when a staffer mistook the former WWE star with Sting, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame icon.