FRISCO, Texas – Last week, the NFL announced the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl roster. Four Dallas Cowboy players were named: Left Tackle Tyron Smith, Right Guard Zack Martin, Center Travis Frederick, and Defensive End Demarcus Lawrence.
These four players have been explosive this year. On the defensive side of the ball, Demarcus Lawrence has accumulated 58 tackles and 14.5 sacks over 15 games this season with the Cowboys. In week 2 against the Denver Broncos, he had 7 combined tackles and 2 sacks. In the next game against the Arizona Cardinals in week 3, he had 5 combined tackles and 3 sacks. These stats have earned him the nickname, “the tank,” and he is feared around the league.
On the offensive side of the ball, Tyron Smith has missed three games this season due to multiple injuries including a re-aggravation of a past knee injury and a groin injury. His presence and play-making ability in the Cowboys’ offensive line can sometimes be underappreciated. The Cowboys felt the full weight of his absence in the week 10 game against the Atlanta Falcons, where Chaz Green filled in for him while he was out due to injury, resulting in QB Dak Prescott being sacked 7 times.
On the other side of the offensive line, Pro Football Focus rated Zack Martin as the number 2 guard in the league with an overall grade of 89.6. In a locker-room interview last Wednesday, Travis Frederick named Zack Martin “the best guard in football…probably that has ever played the game!” All he wanted to do was talk about the success of his teammate instead of talking about his achievements this year.
At the center of the offensive line, Travis Frederick has been listed as the number 2 center in the league by Pro Football Focus with a 90.3 overall grade, and was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his work in fighting hunger. He is projected to provide more than 100,000 meals for children this year with his Blocking Out Hunger Foundation providing support for low-income children in the DFW area. He has not allowed a sack this season with over 450 snaps. In week 8 vs. the Washington Redskins, Frederick had a clean exchange on every snap even though there was a downpour at FedEx Field.
The Cowboys are going to be in a difficult position when the season ends and salary negotiations take place. These 4 all-pro players will be hard to keep underneath the salary cap, but each of these players has made a huge impact on the field this season for “America’s Team.” If the Cowboys hope to make it to the playoffs next year and have a shot at going to Super bowl 53, keeping these four elite players is a must.
Brianna Dix graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Communications. She is a reporter, writer, host, and avid sports fan with a passion for sports.