There hasn't been a whole lot lacking from the collective resume of the 2016 Dallas Cowboys, so it's a good thing we left a lot of room in the trophy case during the 2015 season.
America's Team boasts five Pro Bowlers, two MVP candidates, two Rookie of the Year candidates, and the NFL's likely Coach of the Year. While it remains to be seen if any – it's likely a few – Cowboys make the All-Pro Team, we have a slight indication of that with the 2016 PFF All-Pro Team.
Pro Football Focus is among the elite when it comes to football analysis across the web. This season they deemed four members of the Dallas Cowboys worthy of their All-Pro Team:
- Ezekiel Elliott, First-Team
- Travis Frederick, First-Team
- Zack Martin, First-Team
- Sean Lee, First-Team
I trust that you watched the 2016 Cowboys so you can understand why these Cowboys made the list. Zeke is one of the two we referenced that is in contention for MVP/OROTY, so his status isn't shocking. Travis Frederick and Zack Martin also saw their names among Zeke's when it came to the Pro Bowl, so again it makes sense that two of the best at their respective positions would be featured.
Sean Lee Finally Shown Love
When the 2016 Pro Bowl Rosters were announced, we saw five Dallas Cowboys make the list… Sean Lee's name was not among them.
Despite playing every game this season – save for Week 17 when his health was prioritized – “The General” didn't miss a single game in 2016. He wasn't only present, but he was dominating across the season.
It made no sense for Sean Lee to not be named to the Pro Bowl, except for the notion that the Pro Bowl is weird, and it's great to see that someone finally recognizes the quality season that he put together. The Cowboys Defense isn't regarded as one of the top units across the league, but they definitely have one of the finer defensive players in Lee.
Where's Tyron Smith? Dan Bailey? Dak Prescott?
As loyal members of Cowboys Nation we want the accolades for all of our top players. This leads to some confusion/frustration that guys like Tyron Smith, Dan Bailey, and Dak Prescott were left off of the list.
In terms of Tyron Smith… while he's certainly still the best left tackle in the game, it's fair to say that he didn't have the best season of his career. This speaks to the incredible quality of play Tyron's had since 2011, but it doesn't at all diminish just how great he is.
The legendary foot of Dan Bailey is one that we all bank on week in and week out, but honestly he did have a down Dan Bailey season. During the regular season, Dan posted an 84.4% completion percentage which is – amazingly – the lowest one of his career. Similarly to Tyron Smith, Dan Bailey fell victim to not living up to the ridiculous standards set by his otherwise sparkling consistency.
It is a bit puzzling to see that quarterback Dak Prescott was left off the list, but you have to consider the evaluating that goes into this. The quarterbacks to make the list were Tom Brady and Matt Ryan, who are more conventional and prolific pocket-passers. While Dak Prescott hasn't necessarily been a “mobile” quarterback as far as that definition implies, those two have had more statistical success this season.
It's worth noting that the only two quarterbacks who posted better passer ratings than Dak Prescott in 2016 were Tom Brady and Matt Ryan, so it is somewhat understandable. Still, the four Cowboys who made the list certainly deserved it and should be celebrated.