Despite a second-half swoon that has jeopardized the team’s playoff chances, the Denver Broncos got the benefit of the doubt across the board Tuesday when the Pro Bowl rosters were announced.
Denver had little to argue about after five players were named to the Pro Bowl. Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, safety Brian Dawkins and offensive tackle Ryan Clady were named starters — with Dumervil and Clady going to the all-star game for the first time. Cornerback Champ Bailey and receiver Brandon Marshall were backups.
The game will be played Jan. 31 in Miami during the week before the Super Bowl.
There were no outrageous snubs for the Broncos — linebacker D.J. Williams probably had the best case of any Denver player not included — and Marshall’s selection demonstrates how much respect the team received.
Marshall has 101 catches, which is second best in the AFC. But New England’s Randy Moss has more yards, touchdowns and yards per catch and wasn’t included. Neither was San Diego’s Vincent Jackson, who has averaged 6 more yards per catch than Marshall and has scored only one fewer touchdown. Moss and Jackson also play on teams that have clinched division titles.
Bailey made some history with his ninth Pro Bowl, tying Mike Haynes, who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, for the most Pro Bowl selections by a cornerback in NFL history. Dawkins was named to his ninth Pro Bowl, which is tied for third most in league history among safeties.
The Broncos placed receiver Kenny McKinley and guard Russ Hochstein on injured reserve. Offensive tackle Herb Taylor, who spent 10 days with the team earlier this month before being cut, was re-signed.