The NFL and NFL Players Association announced Wednesday that the 2013 Pro Bowl would be held at Aloha Stadium on Jan. 27. One player happy to see the game return to Hawaii is Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie last season.
"It's great that they decided to keep the game around," Dalton said Wednesday, via Joe Reedy of The Cincinnati Enquirer. "It is an awesome experience and an honor to get to play in the game. And I'm glad they kept the game in Hawaii. It's a great reward at the end of the season."
A second-round draft pick out of TCU, Dalton completed 300 of 516 pass attempts (58.1 percent) for 3,398 yards and 20 touchdowns with 13 interceptions as a rookie and was added to the Pro Bowl roster as a replacement for Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
The Pro Bowl, particularly one held in Hawaii, had been on life support prior to Wednesday's news, as the competition level of last season's game drew boos from the Aloha Stadium crowd and criticism on Twitter. There had been talk of canceling the game altogether or possibly holding it in New Orleans, host city for Super Bowl XLVII.
Dalton entered the Pro Bowl in the third quarter and played the entire second half for the AFC, which went on to win 59-41. Dalton completing 7 of 9 pass attempts for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Earlier this offseason, Dalton defended the level of play in the Pro Bowl.
"I don't think you saw the receivers going any slower than they normally would," Dalton said in April. "The pass rush is obviously lacking quite a bit but as a quarterback you like that. It's not like a normal game. Guys don't want to get hurt when you are enjoying the time out there."