Due to an overwhelming response to my column on Pro Bowl omissions, I'm devoting this week's mailbag to your comments on the subject:
Question: Why wasn't Tony Romo elected to the Pro Bowl? Just look at his stats: 3,013 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and a passer rating of 98.3. He has his team on the verge of making the playoffs, and this is with him missing three games because of a broken finger. Also, he gets better as the game progresses. In the fourth quarter of games this year, he has 724 yards, seven touchdowns and a passer rating of 119.8. -- Charles H.
There's a very strong case to be made for Romo. I wouldn't have been all that shocked if he were selected.
However, if Romo was one of the NFC choices instead of Kurt Warner, Drew Brees or Eli Manning, I would have written about one of those three being a notable omission. My sense is that, at the height of voting, Brees and Warner established themselves as two of the more prolific passers in the league while Manning led the Giants to an early clinching of the NFC East championship.
Romo has had many highlights this season, but a killer lowlight for him was throwing the interception that was returned for the deciding points in the Cowboys' loss at Pittsburgh.
Yes, I have seen Ngata play, and I agree that he was worthy of consideration. But, no, I don't agree that he's better than the other defensive tackles you mentioned -- Jenkins, who did make the Pro Bowl, or Wilfork, who didn't -- "by far."
Ngata has been a major contributor to the Ravens' defense being ranked second in the league, but I also think he has more difference-makers around him than Jenkins or Wilfork do on their respective defenses.
Question: You should have included Calvin Johnson on your list of wide receivers omitted from the Pro Bowl. He has more yards and touchdowns than Greg Jennings, and he did it while catching passes from five different quarterbacks and being double- and triple-teamed. I think if you polled all the defensive backs who played against Jennings and CJ, almost all of them would say CJ gave them the most problems. Granted, he might be playing for the worst team in NFL history, but I think that just makes his season more remarkable. -- Jeff W.
You're absolutely right.
Johnson's case is no weaker than that of Jennings (the only NFC wide receiver I acknowledged for being omitted) and it might even be slightly stronger. I clearly allowed the Lions' futility to influence my decision. I couldn't allow myself to put anyone from a winless team on an all-star team.
Question: With all due respect, London Fletcher is missing. He has 118 solo tackles, which is more than the only linebacker you cited as being omitted, Karlos Dansby, who is seventh in the NFC. Fletcher has been one of the most consistent linebackers in recent history, yet he continues to get snubbed. Does he have to be a loudmouth like T.O. in order to gain some sort of recognition? -- Antoine H., Washington, D.C.
Fletcher has a legitimate beef. I understood that he was extremely angry about being left out again, but it still would have been a bit classier if he had left the public complaining to others.
Question: Yeah, Steve Slaton was a rookie snub, but Matt Forte was an even bigger snub. Not only does he have more touchdowns than Slaton, he has more total offense and is a bigger piece to a team still alive in the playoff hunt. I would pick him over an inconsistent Clinton Portis, who only got picked because of a six-game streak. -- Joshua P.