A year after the Eagles had six guys named to the Pro Bowl to lead all NFC teams, the 2018 team has just three.
Zach Ertz, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Brooks are the Eagles’ representatives for this year’s Pro Bowl.
All three were among the group that was named to the Pro Bowl last season, along with Malcolm Jenkins, Lane Johnson and Carson Wentz. But this time last year, the Eagles had a 12-2 record through 14 games. This year, they are 7-7 and trying to claw their way into the playoffs. Team success matters when these teams come out.
Ertz is having a record-setting season, so he gets his own space. Reuben Frank breaks down his Pro Bowl nod, along with his incredible stats this season here.
As for the other two:
Fletcher Cox (fourth Pro Bowl)
He doesn’t put up monster sack numbers, but Cox is arguably the Eagles’ best player. He’s been just downright dominant at times this year, including his game against the Rams on Sunday night, when he battled through a hip injury to help the Eagles win the game and save their season.
Before this season, Cox said his new goal was to win Defensive Player of the Year. With 7 1/2 sacks through 14 games, that’s not going to happen, but it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be mentioned with the best defensive linemen in football. He’s really good and is worth that $100 million contract.
This is Cox’s fourth straight Pro Bowl nod, proving how consistent he’s been in recent seasons.
Most Pro Bowls by Eagles defensive players— Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) December 19, 2018
8 … Chuck Bednarik
7 … Reggie White
7 … Brian Dawkins
5 … Maxie Baughan
5 ... Troy Vincent
5 ... Eric Allen
4 … Jeremiah Trotter
4 … Bill Bergey
4 … Fletcher Cox
Pretty good company for Fletch!!!
Brandon Brooks (second Pro Bowl)
Brooks has become one of the best free agent acquisitions in recent Eagles history. He didn’t make a Pro Bowl in his first four years in Houston but has now made the Pro Bowl roster in two of his three years in Philly. As long as he continues to play at this level, he has the chance to be a Pro Bowler for a long time on reputation.
While the Eagles’ offensive line struggled for various reasons at different points this year, Brooks has easily been its most consistent player. There are no stats to quantify how good an offensive lineman is, but Brooks has been good and consistent this season. Brooks is now tied with Evan Mathis and Shawn Andrews for the most Pro Bowl selections for an offensive guard in franchise history.
While it’s hard to argue that the Eagles should have six Pro Bowl players again because of the lack of team success, there are always players who probably deserve the nod but get snubbed. Happens every year to just about every team.
Here are the players on this team who probably have a case:
Jason Kelce (two Pro Bowls)
After struggling through a bad MCL sprain earlier this season, Kelce has been getting better as he gets healthier. His ability to get into the second level to block is what makes him so unique and it allows the Eagles to pick up yards in chunks. Last season, Kelce was snubbed from the Pro Bowl but was named to the more prestigious All-Pro team. Sometimes honors for linemen come a year too late, but it didn’t happen here.
Lane Johnson (one Pro Bowl)
Johnson had to battle through a high ankle sprain and an MCL sprain this season, but he’s been getting healthier recently and has returned to his old dominant form. Incredibly, he missed just one game because of that MCL sprain but has started 13 of 14 games this season.
Cameron Johnston (no Pro Bowls)
It has probably been no easy task for Johnston to follow Donnie Jones, who was the greatest punter in Eagles history, but he’s doing it. In fact, Johnston is second in the NFL in gross punting average (48.53) and net punting average (43.4). His booming leg has become a huge weapon for the Eagles, especially as their offense has struggled earlier in the season.
Malcolm Jenkins (two Pro Bowls)
The nearly-31-year-old Jenkins is still criminally underrated throughout the NFL. It’s hard to imagine just where this Eagles team would be without him. He’s the only starter left standing in a battered secondary and has been the glue to hold that whole defense together, not to mention one of the most important leaders in that locker room. He has one interception, seven pass breakups, three forced fumbles, one recovery and one sack, but it’s hard to use stats to show how important Jenkins is to the Eagles. Cox is the better player, but Jenkins might be the heart.
Michael Bennett (three Pro Bowls)
It might have been a little slower of a start than some expected for Bennett, but the veteran defensive end has come on strong this season and has even been able to be productive recently while playing through a nagging foot injury. He has eight sacks to lead the Eagles and is closing in on his career-high 10 sacks. He’s really helped the Eagles get over the loss of Derek Barnett and the absence of Tim Jernigan. Bennett has been productive inside and outside.
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