The Eagles will send five players to the Pro Bowl in Orlando. It’s a big number for a squad in danger of missing the playoffs.
The team will send three offensive starters, plus a defensive starter and one special-teams player to the annual all-star game on Jan. 26. The players were selected by a respected panel of fans, coaches and peers.
The following Eagles made the squad: right guard Brandon Brooks, center Jason Kelce, tight end Zach Ertz, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and long snapper Rick Lovato.
This won’t be the first rodeo for many of these well-deserving Eagles players. Brooks qualified for his third consecutive Pro Bowl, the most selections for any guard in Eagles history. Cox will be making his fifth straight appearance and trails two franchise legends (Reggie White, Pete Pihos) for most consecutive selections.
Ertz has 84 receptions for 888 yards and six touchdowns as he makes his third straight Pro-Bowl team, while Kelce makes his third appearance and first since 2016. Lovato will be making his first appearance in the all-star game, right on the heels of signing a lucrative contract extension through 2023.
“To know that I’m going to be here for the next four years is incredible,” Lovato said of his extension. “It’s what I’ve been looking forward to since the day I first got here and that’s being with this team for the rest of my career.”
Miles Sanders Snubbed from Pro Bowl
Miles Sanders won’t be making the trip to Orlando. The rookie has arguably been the Eagles’ MVP this season but the voters looked the other way.
Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey and Ezekiel Elliott will represent the running-back position for the NFC. They are the three leading rushers in the conference and all worthy selections.
Cook left last week’s game with a shoulder injury, so they may need to find a replacement for him. That slot would likely be filled by Seattle’s Chris Carson, although Sanders could be in play.
Sanders only ranks 10th in the NFC in rushing yards with 687. However, it has been the way he’s kept the Eagles afloat as a dual-threat out of the backfield — combined with his contributions on kick returns — that possibly qualify his absence as a snub.
Sanders has 1,434 all-purpose yards, good for ninth-best in the NFL. McCaffrey leads the league with 2,121 yards, with Cook and Elliott not too far behind him.
The Eagles rookie is the only player among this year’s all-purpose yardage leaders with kickoff return stats, though. Sanders has 14 returns for 314 yards, including a long of 67 yards. His contributions cannot be underestimated for a team fighting for their playoff lives.
Two other interesting names missing from the Pro Bowl roster are right tackle Lane Johnson and quarterback Carson Wentz. It’s possible those two Eagles stars get added later as alternates due to injury.
Four Cowboys Players Named to Pro Bowl
The Eagles’ archrivals in Dallas will be sending four players to Orlando. Three offensive linemen — Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin — and running back Ezekiel Elliott made the cut.
The Eagles will need to figure out a way to stop Elliott on Sunday if they want to beat the Cowboys. He sits fifth in the NFL in rushing with 1,188 yards, along with 11 rushing touchdowns. This marks his third trip to the all-star game in four seasons.
“He’s a strong contact runner and we’re going to have to put a lot of hats on him,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said of Elliott. “It’s not going to be one-on-one tackles. It’s going to have to be gang-tackling, team defense in order to limit his yards and limit his effectiveness.”
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