Before we get into this, it’s worth pointing out that the Pro Bowl is a bit of a sham. Any time you use fan voting as a measure of success, you’re doing something wrong. Popularity does not equal pure talent, so there’s really no point in getting up in arms over Pro Bowl voting. That being said, COME ON PEOPLE.
The first round of results from Pro Bowl voting from fans was released on Monday, and it’s not going to make Detroit Lions fans very happy. In a press release, the NFL announced both the top-10 overall vote-getters and the players that received the most votes at their respective positions. No Lions player appeared on either of those lists.
Here’s a look at the top-10 players who received the most votes:
- RB Ezekiel Elliott
- QB Dak Prescott
- QB Tom Brady
- WR Antonio Brown
- QB Derek Carr
- QB Matt Ryan
- WR Julio Jones
- WR Odell Beckham Jr.
- RB David Johnson
- QB Drew Brees
So not only is Matthew Stafford—who is having arguably an MVP-level season—not among the top 10 vote-getters, but he’s not even among the top-five quarterbacks. If only the majority of these votes had been cast after the Detroit Lions’ game against the Saints.
Here’s a look at the top vote-getters at all of the other positions.
Your #NFL #ProBowl vote leaders, by conference/position. pic.twitter.com/9OQXarzYGA— Luke Easterling (@LukeEasterling) December 5, 2016
Particularly egregious is the selection of Cowboys punter Chris Jones as the NFC representative. Jones is just ninth in punting average and t-11th in net average. Punters Sam Martin and Johnny Hekker are both on pace for record-setting years, but because the Cowboys are in first place and a huge market, a barely above-average punter may get Pro Bowl honors.
Jones is one of seven total Cowboys to be the highest voted player at their position, and that’s enough to tell you that this whole ordeal is silly. The Cowboys are a great team right now, but Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott are not the best players in the league.
But if you want to vigorously fight the system, go vote. You can fill out your ballot here, or simply Tweet out the players you want to vote for with the hashtag #ProBowlVote.