More Cowboys with a shot at the Pro Bowl in 2020
– Leighton Vander Esch: The Boise State linebacker was one of the league’s best as a rookie, making 140 tackles and two interceptions. The guy was everywhere. If he’s fully recovered from his neck injury, (and he’s said he is) I’d expect him to dominate again. But that sentence started with “If” for a reason. Neck injuries are trickly. We’ll see.
– Xavier Woods: The Dallas safety has been very good since his rookie year, and has five career interceptions. Amazing, since he was taken in the sixth round. The last two years, various pundits picked him as possible Pro Bowler. If he can crank up his game a notch or two, he’ll be there.
Possible Cowboy Pro Bowlers, but not likely
– Chidobe Awuzie: Could the cornerback have a breakthrough season? He hasn’t for the last two years, defying optimistic projections. But who knows. He’s got a new coach. It worked for former Cowboys defensive back Byron Jones (who made the Pro Bowl after defensive backs coach Kris Richard joined the team).
– Dontari Poe: The massive nose tackle (346 pounds!) made the big game in 2013 and 2014. And as the cliché goes, if you do it once, you can do it again. But 2014 was a while ago…
– Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: I mentioned last week that the newly acquired safety is the only current member of Dallas’s secondary who’s actually been to the Pro Bowl. The former first-round pick is also on a one-year contract with his third team in three years.
He’s also been reunited (and it feels so good) with his former coach in McCarthy. He’s a talented player who’s been dissed, and might feel underpaid and underappreciated. I don’t know how well he’ll play. But my bet is he feels like he has something to prove.
Pro Bowl – Given all this, here’s my bet. Six or seven Cowboys will make the honor game. More specifically, I figure at least one of last year’s Pro Bowlers won’t make it this year, but a few more will step up. I won’t predict which ones…
Except I kinda want to pick Prescott. He’s steadily improved the quality of his play since he got into the league. I think he will again. So yeah, I’m picking Prescott to make the game, plus at least one other player who didn’t last year. Am I copping out, by saying six or seven? Maybe, but that’s where I’m at.
All-Pro – Two Cowboys, maybe three will earn this elite designation. Zack Martin will be picked again. That I will predict specifically. Other than that, one other Cowboy will step up to this high honor, maybe two. I’d like to say more. But I’m a conservative prognosticator.
Okay, so that’s it. What do you think? Where am I wrong? Who do you think will step up this year? If you have a prediction or a bone to pick with me, please leave a comment below.