Cowboys without Pro Bowl selection for first time since 1989

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Dallas Cowboys had at least one Pro Bowler the past 31 years, but no longer

The 2020 Dallas Cowboys campaign has been filled with disappointment for a roster that is littered with former Pro Bowlers. That disappointment was magnified on Monday as America’s Team was left off the Pro Bowl for the first time since 1989. That year was head coach Jimmy Johnson and quarterback Troy Aikman’s first season in Dallas, the team stumbled to a 1-15 record.

This year is not that bad, it might sting more with the lofty preseason expectations the team carried with them this season but still, it is not 1989 bad. Many of the Cowboy’s past stars have put up good seasons in 2020 but nothing that stands out compared to the rest of the NFC. In all honesty, there was not a single snub on the roster for America’s Team.

A combination of spread out receiving numbers, offensive line injuries, and a woeful defense cost Dallas any chance. It could be argued that tight end Dalton Schultz had the best shot to make it for America’s Team, he was passed up for more popular New York Giants Tight End Evan Engram though. Schultz is sixth in receiving yards for NFC tight ends.

The usual faces just did not perform to past standards

After the organization had 24 Pro Bowlers the past decade, this year will go down as an outlier. The wealth was spread too thin between receivers Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, and Amari Cooper to have one of their names selected. Cooper is the leading receiver for the Cowboys at 10th in receiving yards for the NFC so far this season.

The usual greatness on the offensive line was lost due to injuries to the usual Pro Bowlers, tackle Tyron Smith and guard Zack Martin. Their Pro Bowl streaks will end at seven and six respectively. This is the first Pro Bowl since 2012 that will not feature a Dallas offensive lineman.

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The defense has had more sparingly Pro Bowl selections the past decade than the offense, still, it is a surprise to see a defense that features former selections in defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch not be able to field at least one player. There were no snubs, it is just the state of the franchise’s defensive performance this year.

The most prominent name left off the list was running back Ezekiel Elliott who had made the Pro Bowl three of his first four seasons, the only omission being his 2017 season cut short by a suspension. He was well on track to make it that season.

This is the first time Elliott’s performance was not up to the task, falling well behind in an NFC rushing leaders race he has dominated in the past. His 3.9 yards per carry is 40th out of 50 qualified running backs in the NFC this season. His five rushing touchdowns sit outside the top 15 in the NFC as well.

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The Dallas Cowboys have ended their Pro Bowl streak at 31 years. Hopefully, 2021 treats America’s Team kinder.