Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant should've been included on the NFC Pro Bowl roster.
(Photo: Matthew Emmons, USA TODAY Sports)
(USA TODAY) -- Of all the all-star games, the Pro Bowl is the most meaningless. That doesn't, however, mean that being named to the roster is insignificant, so there has to be some sad faces after Wednesday's announcement.
Particularly with regard to this Pro Bowl, it could be the final chance for the NFL's stars to partake in an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii since commissioner Roger Goodell is considering cancellation of the game altogether.
Every year we ponder snubs, and this year is no different. Here are five, in no particular order:
Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Bryant had us rolling our eyes before the season began after being arrested on a family violence charge over a dispute with his own mother. Little did we know that somehow Bryant would get his act together to have by far his most productive season. He has 88 catches for 1,311 yards and a league-leading 12 touchdowns, all career highs. It's not just Bryant's production that makes his exclusion hard to believe, but also the timing as he's come on strong during Dallas' second-half playoff push, and the fact that he's playing through the pain of a broken left index finger.
Richard Sherman, CB, Seattle Seahawks
This one comes with a caveat since Sherman is currently appealing a four-game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs. Surely that had to turn off voters. But given that Sherman is innocent until proven guilty, there's no question he deserved to go over either the Bears' Tim Jennings or Cardinals' Patrick Peterson. Sherman is very talented and has been integral to the Seahawks' stingy defense. Plus, he stepped to Tom Brady after Seattle's win over New England earlier this season. That has to count for something.
Minnesota Vikings offensive line
What Adrian Peterson has done this season, threatening Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery one year ago, is nothing short of remarkable. But even Peterson would tell you there's no way he could've had the best season of his career without the assistance of his offensive line, so how the entire Vikings unit went unrecognized is beyond me? Here's what could've (and should've) been an easy fix: Center John Sullivan in favor of the Packers' Jeff Saturday. Saturday just got benched last week for Pete's sake!
Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jackson wanted the Chargers to pay him like a No. 1 wide receiver, they didn't, and look what has happened to Philip Rivers. The Buccaneers, on the other hand, did and came up big, especially quarterback Josh Freeman, who enjoyed a resurgence in 2012. Jackson has just 69 receptions, yet he is fourth in yards with 1,334 and has proven to be a big-play threat with eight touchdowns and averaging 19.4 yards per catch. Bottom line: Jackson deserved to go over Victor Cruz.
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins
The exclusion of Morris most likely comes down to the fact that he's a rookie and Frank Gore is an established veteran. Morris is fourth in the NFL with 1,413 rushing yards and has scored 10 touchdowns. Gore, on the other hand, has rushed for 1,146 yards, though on 64 less attempts (Gore's average is higher). So maybe this isn't so much that Gore doesn't deserve to go, as much as Morris does given what he's accomplished as a sixth-round pick in his first year.