The NFL released the 2017 Pro Bowl rosters on Tuesday evening and two Philadelphia Eagles players made the final cut: Jason Peters and Fletcher Cox.
Peters, who turns 36 in January, has now made nine Pro Bowls in his 13-season NFL career. Peters is now tied with Philadelphia legends Brian Dawkins and Reggie White for most Pro Bowl berths in Eagles history.
“That’s some great company to be mentioned with those guys,” said Peters. “It just makes you think about all the hard work you put in and it makes you feel good about yourself, because that’s some good company, the Brian Dawkins’ the Reggie White’s and all those guys. That’s crazy.”
Peters has clearly come a long way since entering the league as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2004. Only 12 offensive linemen have been named to more Pro Bowls in NFL history, per Reuben Frank. All 12 of those players are also Hall of Famers.
“It just humbles me,” said Peters. “All the hard work that you put in through the offseason and throughout the season pays off. That’s the individual goal and all the work that you put in to get that honor, and that makes you feel good.”
The Eagles’ starting left tackle isn’t in his prime by any means, but he’s had an overall good season for Philadelphia. The Eagles would surely like to have him back for next season, and it’s quite possible that happens since he doesn’t seen intent on immediately retiring.
Cox made the Pro Bowl for the second year in a row. The 26-year-old defensive lineman leads the Eagles in sacks with 6.5 this season.
“It’s an honor,” said Cox. “It was definitely different [hearing the news for a second time]. It was just surprising with the year I’ve had, the ups and downs, that I made it. I just kept pushing. We were trying to get this team in a better position to make it to the playoffs. At this point, we’re officially eliminated from the playoffs, so I’ll look forward to going to the Pro Bowl and getting a chance to compete again.”
The Eagles signed Cox to an eye-popping contract extension in the offseason. He’s drew some criticism after failing to register a sack between Week 6 through Week 13, but the film doesn’t lie. Cox is a very good player.
In other news, the Eagles had six players named as alternates. Brandon Graham is the Eagles’ sole first team alternate. Graham didn’t have the flashy sack numbers to make the Pro Bowl outright but it’s worth noting he ranks fourth in the NFL in pressures.
Starting center Jason Kelce and special teams ace Chris Maragos are the team’s two second team alternates. Safety Malcolm Jenkins is one of the Eagles’ two third team alternates. Darren Sproles is also listed as a third team alternate at the kick/punt returner position.
Do the Eagles have any Pro Bowl snubs? It’s hard to think of any egregious omissions. There’s a case to be made for Jordan Hicks, however, who is quietly having a great season after showing so much promise as a rookie in 2015. Hicks has forced nine turnovers in 19 career starts. Perhaps Hicks will get the respect he deserves next year.
The 2017 NFL Pro Bowl is set to take place in Orlando, Florida on Jan. 29, 2017.