On the morning after the Pro Bowl unveiled its initial 2020 roster, several NFL insiders and analysts ripped the selection process for choosing Aaron Rodgers over several other worthy contenders.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback was named to his eighth career Pro Bowl and his second straight, joining Seattle’s Russell Wilson and New Orleans’ Drew Brees as the trio of NFC passers invited to compete in this season’s honorary game on Jan. 26 in Orlando, Fla. Many, though, felt Rodgers’ numbers don’t support his selection over other options around the conference, including Dak Prescott in Dallas.
“This just makes my blood boil,” ESPN personality Skip Bayless said during Skip and Shannon: Undisputed on Wednesday before going on a rant about how he believes Prescott is the most underappreciated quarterback he has seen in his many years covering the NFL.
There was much love for Prescott — and much hate for Rodgers — coming from around NFL media circles Wednesday with some arguments forming based on statistics and others letting personal passions fuel their rage.
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A Numbers Look at Aaron Rodgers vs. Dak Prescott
On the statistical side of things, Prescott holds an advantage over Rodgers in just about every category this season, including completion percentage (65.6 vs. 63.6), passing yards (4,334 vs. 3,463), yards per attempt (8.4 vs. 7.3) and QBR (73.3 vs. 53.8). To no one’s surprise, the Cowboys quarterback is also more efficient on his feet as a rusher.
Now, Rodgers is significantly better at limiting his turnovers through their air with just two interceptions on the season and nine fewer than Prescott, while the Packers passer has thrown just two fewer touchdowns on a team that also includes Aaron Jones, one of the top touchdown scorers in the league this year. More than a third of Rodgers’ touchdown passes, however, did come in two performances against the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders.
“It is flat-out stupid that Dak Prescott is not in the Pro Bowl and Aaron Rodgers is,” said former NFL cornerback-turned-writer Domonique Foxworth, who last week claimed Rodgers isn’t even a “top-eight quarterback” and backed up his comments on ESPN’s Get Up on Wednesday.
Foxworth had plenty more to say in his impassioned argument, as you can see below:
“Aaron Rodgers, I’m not taking anything away from the career that he has had, but this season has not been good. He’s better than Dak in one area: he doesn’t throw as many interceptions, so he’s good at risk-management. That is not what a Pro Bowl quarterback is. That is what a game-manager is. I mean no disrespect to Aaron Rodgers, again he has been very great for a long time, but the last several years he’s been average at best and the stats support that.
If you’re going to put him in because his team has won, then maybe you go someone like (Jimmy) Garoppolo, whose team has won as much and has a better QBR. There is no statistical category, even tight-window throws, even the things you think Aaron Rodgers is great at, Dak Prescott is better at that. He is better than Aaron Rodgers this year and he plays for the Cowboys, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be in the Pro Bowl right now. Fans normally vote for those guys.
This is terrible, it’s awful, it’s attrocious, it upsets me, and I’m fine with giving these type of older guys who have had great careers a spot, but create an extra spot. Create an extra spot where you can be a player coach or something, I don’t know, but don’t steal from the guys who have earned it like Dak Prescott has this year.”
Others Contend Kirk Cousins Deserves Recognition
Shannon Sharpe didn’t let his co-host Bayless mouth off about Rodgers without firing back a little bit against his criticism, as he argued Bayless could just as easily argue Brees — who missed the better part of six games this season — doesn’t deserve to a Pro Bowl spot over Prescott.
Though, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith argued the biggest snub from the Pro Bowl was Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who at the start of October apologized to Adam Thielen for missed opportunities during their Week 4 loss and has since rallied the Vikings to win eight of their last 10 games. Cousins is also outperforming Rodgers in a number of categories while taking significantly better care of the football than Prescott, but Smith would have liked to see him take the place of Brees.
“When you look at the top three quarterbacks in the NFC from a Pro Bowl perspective, of course, there is Russell Wilson, you can’t ignore that,” Smith said. “And Aaron Rodgers, you can’t ignore that, either. But I could make a legitimate argument that even more so than Dak Prescott, the guy who beat (Brees) head to head, Kirk Cousins might deserve that nod.”