The Arizona Cardinals had only one player selected to the 2023 Pro Bowl. That was safety Budda Baker, which comes as no surprise.
Baker was selected for the fifth time in his career and for the fourth consecutive year.
Two players perhaps deserved to make the Pro Bowl — defensive ends Zach Allen and J.J. Watt.
Allen is having a career year with 47 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, 19 quarterback hits, 10 tackles for loss and eight pass breakups.
All are great numbers among interior defenders.
Watt, who added three sacks on Sunday, has 9.5 sacks, 27 tackles, 12 tackles for loss 19 quarterback hits, six pass breakups and a forced fumble.
These are also fantastic numbers for a defensive lineman.
However, both are listed as defensive ends.
The NFC Pro Bowlers at defensive end are Nick Bosa of the 49ers, who has the NFL lead with 15.5 sacks, the Panthers’ Brian Burns with his 10.5 sacks and the Cowboys’ Demarcus Lawrence, who has six sacks.
Lawrence’s selection is the one perhaps questionable one in the NFC.
The problem is Watt had three of his sacks after final numbers already were tabulated. Listed as defensive ends, Allen and Watt would need even bigger numbers. Both play the interior defensive line mostly and their stats and impact are undeniable.
But full-time edge defensive ends will almost always get the nod for honors like the Pro Bowl over guys who move back and forth, especially when Watt is considered past his prime and Allen has not yet established himself.
They are snubs, for sure. But they are understandable snubs.
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