Aug 23, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick (32) against the Miami Dolphins during their game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The popularity contest known as the Pro Bowl is both loved and loathed by fans, players, and media alike. Honorees are selected by an all-inclusive voting process that has less to do about player performance, and more to do about name recognition and reputation. As you can imagine, the results of which cause a multitude of snubs – and Cowboys CB, Orlando Scandrick, may be one of those snubs.
The Dallas Cowboys boast a league-leading 14 players as top vote getters at their respective positions, according to NFL.com. With 14, it’s hard to imagine the Cowboys can even claim a legitimate snub, let alone a player of Orlando Scandrick’s worth.
In a world where Jeff Heath is included in the Cowboys’ 14 and Scandrick is nowhere to be seen, it’s hard to understand what is going on in voters’ minds. Yes, you heard correctly, Jeff “Freaking” Heath. The guy we don’t even like, happens to be getting some recognition as a Special Teams player in Pro Bowl voting.
Orlando Scandrick is having his best season as a pro, but at last check, he wasn’t even on the ballot. His stats aren’t lighting up the league but speaking as someone who has scouted and graded almost every snap of his this season – the guy is a beast. He’s a beast out of nowhere too. I’m not trying to tout my favorite player here. I’ve been critical of Scandy just this past offseason. Check out: Orlando Scandrick is good, he’s just not a playmaker.
The sentiments from that article largely hold true today. Scandrick still isn’t making those illusive interceptions or becoming a human highlight film, but he is becoming a playmaker in his own right. On pivotal plays and in pivotal situations Scandy is pulling through for this Dallas Defense. He’s reading the ball and playing the ball aggressively (two things he’s rarely done in the past).
Scandrick is proving to be a top player on this team and in this league, it’s just no one seems to notice it. You do because you watch the games. I do because I review his film. But where is everyone else?
Oct 27, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick (32) deflects a pass away from Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Pro Football Focus (subscription required) is a site that breaks down each play of each player and rates the performance. While not flawless, it is certainly one of the most reliable and respected sites of its type. PFF seems to be seeing what we’re seeing as well. Probably because they don’t grade based on stat sheet and actually watch the game (something I wish Pro Bowl voters had to do).
11 weeks into the NFL season and Orlando Scandrick is ranking as the 7th best CB in the NFL. In a pool of 112 players, PFF has broken down every play and graded him as #7. That’s pretty damn impressive.
In the end the Pro Bowl is just a popularity contest, and it doesn’t matter much to those in-the-know. But it’s still frustrating to see a good man get overlooked so often.
Here’s to you, Scandy. We love ya.
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