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Making the Pro Bowl case for Tress Way, D.J. Swearinger

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Making the Pro Bowl case for Tress Way, D.J. Swearinger

Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams will represent the Redskins in the Pro Bowl next month, which is great news for the team. Combined the two players have 11 Pro Bowl selections and are deserving of their status as stars around the league.

For Redskins fans, two other players generated a lot of Pro Bowl support in punter Tress Way and safety D.J. Swearinger. The good news is both Way and Swearinger got named Pro Bowl alternates, but the bad news is neither man got the Pro Bowl selection. 

Well, do they deserve it? It's easy to make the case. 

In Swearinger's situation, it doesn't require making much of a case. Giants safety Landon Collins made the Pro Bowl team, but he was placed on the injured reserve earlier this month after undergoing shoulder surgery. A pending free agent, it's very hard to see a scenario where Collins plays in the Pro Bowl. 

Swearinger should replace Collins on the Pro Bowl team. Pro Football Focus ranks Swearinger the 8th-best safety in the NFL, and he has the numbers too. The sixth-year safety has started each game for Washington this season and has logged four interceptions and three forced fumbles to go with 48 tackles. He's deserving of the Pro Bowl spot. 

With the safety issue settled, it's time to focus on the punter. 

Let's be clear, Seattle's Mike Dickson has been really good this year. Tress Way deserves to be in the Pro Bowl, but Dickson is a good choice too. 

Here's what separates Way from Dickson: Touchbacks. 

Way has punted 72 times this season with zero touchbacks. He's placed the ball inside the 20 an astounding 39 times and never once has the ball gotten into the end zone. 

Dickson has punted 68 times this season with four touchbacks. He's placed the ball inside the 20 a respectable 29 times, 10 fewer than Way. 

Boil that down: Dickson has 10 fewer punts inside the 20 than Way, and Dickson has four more touchbacks. Fewer times inside the 20, and more touchbacks. 

It's worth pointing out Dickson has a ridiculous 44.2-yard net punting average. That's crazy good. Way's net punting average is 41.2.

What the stats don't show is that Way has been a critical part of the Redskins success this season. When things were going well for Washington, field position was a vital part of the team's winning formula. Way's ability to drop the ball inside the 20-yard-line, if not the 10 or 5-yard-line, played a huge role in that formula. 

Dickson is very good, but Way has been better. 

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Redskins get Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan into Pro Bowl and another 5 to alternate team

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Redskins get Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan into Pro Bowl and another 5 to alternate team

The Redskins landed two players on the Pro Bowl roster in left tackle Trent Williams and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. This marks the seventh and fourth Pro Bowl honors for the players, respectively. 

Williams has been named to the past seven Pro Bowls, a remarkable feat, and joins Ken Houston as the only Washington players to make seven straight Pro Bowls. He trails only Charley Taylor (8) and Chris Hanburger (9) in total Pro Bowl selections.

After a two-sack performance last Sunday in Jacksonville moved him into second all-time on the Redskins sack list, Kerrigan got named to his fourth Pro Bowl and third straight selection. He has 11 sacks on the season, his third straight year with double-digit sacks. 

Beyond Kerrigan and Williams, five other Redskins players were named alternates to the Pro Bowl: D.J. Swearinger, Josh Norman, Jordan Reed, Tress Way, and Adrian Peterson. 

Many thought Swearinger or Way would make the Pro Bowl for the first time in their careers, but both players came up just short. Things look good for Swearinger to make it to Orlando, as Giants safety Landon Collins made the Pro Bowl squad but will miss the game with an injury. 

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