DE DeMarcus Lawrence
Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is easily the best player on the defensive side of the ball for the Dallas Cowboys. He also leads the team with five and a half sacks on the year. Sure that number looks pedestrian so late in the season but the impact he has had is greater than individual sacks.
Lawrence ranks eighth in pass rush win rate in the entire NFL. That is better than Chase Young who was selected ahead of Lawrence. Not convinced he should have made it yet? Consider that Lawrence ranked sixth in the entire league with a 31% run stop win rate.
If you dig deeper, DeMarcus Lawrence and Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa are the only two players in the top ten of both of those categories in the entire NFL. Bosa only has two more sacks than Lawrence but is a Pro Bowl starter for his conference.
Lawrence ranks ahead of Young in both run and pass rush win rate and both men are tied with five and a half sacks. So how does Young beat out Lawrence? The simple answer is the Pro Bowl is a popularity contest and the shiny new toy that is Young takes precedence.
Sure, Eagles edge rusher Brandon Graham is the best edge run defender in the NFL according to the same metric but his pass rush rate isn’t even a top ten while fellow Pro Bowler Cam Jordan of the New Orleans Saints is not in the top ten of either category.
Graham has seven sacks while Jordan has collected six and a half himself makes this Pro Bowl snub even more perplexing. I assume the NFL looks at team records when making their decision which feels light a severe oversight on their part.