Lately, most coverage from Dallas Cowboy fansites has been around OTAs (organized team activities), free agency, trades, and previews heading towards their official Training Camp. However, I wanted to shift gears and sway from those topics in this piece to talk about my three suggestions on how the NFL can improve the Pro Bowl.
On Tuesday, NFL insider Ian Rapoport tweeted that the NFL is discussing ways to improve Pro Bowl Week and said the league has considered eliminating the game. While Rapoport did throw out the idea of a flag football game, I wanted to suggest my alternatives.
And to clarify for any fans who are confused about why I'm writing about the Pro Bowl on a Dallas Cowboys news site, my only question is: Don't Cowboy players play in the Pro Bowl, so wouldn't my suggestions affect them?
With all that in mind, check out how the NFL can add some sizzle to the Pro Bowl.
1. Mix fans and NFL players into skills challenge events.
Do you ever see those fans online talking trash about certain NFL players and claim they can play better than them or how they could easily take their spot on the team?
In my scenario, those fans get the opportunity to prove themselves (instead of being keyboard warriors), and if chosen, they can call out their favorite player to compete against them.
The idea of seeing your average Cowboy fan challenging QB Dak Prescott in a accuracy or deep-throw event (since most fans cry that Prescott can't throw to save his life) would be entertaining to watch.
To make it a feel-good outcome, whoever loses has to donate to the other person's charity of choice. As a fan, if I got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete against my favorite athlete, I would sign up in a heartbeat.
2. Make a combine-like event and reward winners with bonuses.
While the Pro Bowl recently did incorporate skill challenges that fans saw back in the day, eliminating some and bringing back the events such as QB Challenges (Longest Distance, Accuracy, and Agility) or even the Strongest Man competition would be a hit.
Additionally, you can include the 40-Yard Dash, Best Hands, and 1-on-1 battles. Given we have seen heated WR-DB battles on national television, the chance to see them talk trash and go at it without refs would be entertaining.
Throw in that these players can get bonuses if they win their competition, I predict a vast majority of players would fight for a chance to compete.
3. In addition to the skills challenge, make an NFL Media All-Star game coached by the players.
Since 2003, the NBA has held an NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and fans have seen some of their favorite actors, musicians, et cetera go at it on the hardwood for an hour or two. While I wouldn't call for celebrities to compete in my proposed game, I would instead have any NFL Media personnel compete in a flag-football seven-on-seven battle.
Imagine big names like Adam Schefter, Rapoport, Rich Eisen, Field Yates, Mel Kiper Jr., Matthew Berry, and Mike Garofolo mixed with former NFL players (who are now NFL media personalities or journalists) such as Shannon Sharpe, Randy Moss, the Manning Brothers, Ray Lewis, Tony Romo, Troy Aikman, Jerome Bettis, and Tiki Barber running around for four quarters.
Fans would see the competitive juice among the pool and get nostalgia seeing some of their favorite players balling out on the field. Also, the possible memes or big moments that any media members would create on the field would be golden.