How do you know when somebody has gone horribly wrong for an NFL team?
When it has as many Pro Bowl players as wins.
The 4-10 Cowboys are somehow sending four players to Hawaii, despite an epically disappointing season that started with Super Bowl hopes. Since their peers believe the Cowboys have elite players, something went awry with the coaching, or perhaps Tony Romo is pretty darn important to this whole outfit.
Selected to this year’s Pro Bowl were kicker Dan Bailey and offensive linemen Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick.
Bailey’s honor, of course, was an automatic as his kicks. He’s missed one field goal all season in 29 attempts (a 48-yarder pushed right at Tampa) and is 5-of-5 from 50+ yards including a 54-yarder to beat the Redskins on Monday Night Football.
The offensive linemen’s awards, however, are questionable. Darren McFadden needs only 129 yards to reach 1,000 yards, but the running game has been only a shadow of itself with the departure of DeMarco Murray and Romo suffered his two collar-bone injuries when sacked. And the Cowboys’ glaring problems on 3rd-and-1 start with the offensive line.
I love Smith. Only 25, he’s a pillar of the organization moving forward. But, let’s be honest, he hasn’t had a great year. He was beaten twice for sacks by the Eagles’ Brandon Graham and has had more penalties this season than his last two years combined.
Martin is the first Cowboy to earn Pro Bowl recognition his first two seasons since Emmitt Smith in ’90-91. Frederick has started every game at center since being drafted and – despite working with four different quarterbacks this season – rarely has a fumbled snap or wayward shotgun delivery.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.