Amari Cooper, DeMarcus Lawrence, Dalton Schultz kind of snubbed for Pro Bowl

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·4 min read
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  • Dallas Cowboys
    Dallas Cowboys
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  • Green Bay Packers
    Green Bay Packers
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  • New York Giants
    New York Giants
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  • Washington Football Team
    Washington Football Team
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  • Amari Cooper
    Amari Cooper
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  • DeMarcus Lawrence
    DeMarcus Lawrence
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  • Andy Dalton
    Andy Dalton
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  • Dalton Schultz
    Dalton Schultz
    American football tight end
  • Evan Engram
    Evan Engram
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It’s hard to get turned too sideways over initial Pro Bowl voting when a team starts 3-9 and looks destined for a Top 3 selection in the upcoming NFL draft. While Dallas has been able to capitalize on two teams plummeting in Cincinnati and San Francisco the last few games, the reality of the Cowboys season was already etched into the thought processes of most around the league.

Therefore it isn’t all that surprising that despite having a handful of players who could be considered deserving, the team has no Pro Bowl players on the initial list for the first time since 1989. WR Amari Cooper, DE DeMarcus Lawrence, TE Dalton Schultz and RG Zack Martin all could’ve been included, but in the end were not.

Cooper had the toughest field to overcome, and his yards-per-reception numbers are down, but he’s enjoying perhaps his finest season, all things considered. When Dak Prescott was under center, Cooper was on pace for over 120 catches and over 1,300 receiving yards, but he’s had to deal with Andy Dalton, Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci since Week 6 and his pace has stagnated.

Through 14 games he has 82 receptions for 952 yards, but his performance wasn’t good enough to bump off Davante Adams (Packers), DeAndre Hopkins (Cardinals) DK Metcalf (Seahawks) or rookie Justin Jefferson (Vikings).

Martin is a six-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro, but was left off the team in favor of Brandon Scherff (Washington), Elgton Jenkins (Packers) and Andrus Peat (Saints).

The two biggest snubs and the result of circumstances however might have been Schultz and Lawrence.

Schultz is a first-time starter, having to fill in for Blake Jarwin after the latter was lost for the season in Week 1 due to an ankle injury. He’s excelled in the role despite being the fifth option on many plays to the tune of 53 catches for 524 yards and 4 touchdowns.

The tight end position isn’t strong in the NFC but Lions’ second-year man TJ Hockenson is deserving at 60 receptions for 675 yards and six scores. It’s the selection of the Giants’ Evan Engram over Schultz that’s interesting.

Engram has 54 receptions for 572 yards but has scored only once, despite being integral to the Giants anemic offense. Stat for stat, Schultz probably deserves the nod. Engram has the worst DVOA among NFC tight ends at -24.4%.

Meanwhile, the NFC selected three defensive ends and while Cam Jordan (Saints) and Brandon Graham (Eagles) make sense, rookie Chase Young doesn’t have a better resume than Lawrence, has much more help along the line to make his job easier and doesn’t have the stats either.

It’s not that Young isn’t deserving, he’ll likely soon hold the mantle of the best edge rusher in the game, but this year, and based on history, Lawrence is the better choice.

Both have 5.5 sacks on the year and both have forced three fumbles. Young does have a fumble return touchdown on his resume, but Lawrence has 43 QB pressures to Young’s 28 and he is the better all-around defender. Lawrence has graded out at 90.1 according to Pro Football Focus, ranking fifth among edge defenders. Young checks in at No. 12 with a 80.6 grade.

The book is closed on this selection process, too, because there’s no actual game being played in 2021 due to the pandemic. There’ll be no reason for players to withdraw for health reasons or because it’s the week before the Super Bowl.

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