McCoy, Peters, Babin going to Pro Bowl
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, tackle Jason Peters and defensive end Jason Babin were voted into the Pro Bowl, the team announced this evening.
The full rosters were announced by the NFL on its Network at 7 p.m. All three Eagles will start at their respective positions. Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins was selected as a first alternate. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is a second alternate.
McCoy, in his third season, will be making his first trip to the Pro Bowl. Some believed he should have been voted in last season when he led the NFC in yards from scrimmage. His receiving numbers are down this season, but he's become a more complete runner.
McCoy dazzled with his cutting style, often turning nothing into something, but he also became very dependable in short yardage situations. He converted 12 of 16 third-and-one situations into first downs, more than any other player in the NFL.
With a game to play, McCoy is second in the league in rushing with 1,309 yards, first in rushing and total touchdowns with 17 and 20 and first in total first downs with 102.
"I means a lot," McCoy said during a conference call with reporters. "I worked hard."
Chicago's Matt Forte and the 49ers' Frank Gore will back up McCoy.
Peters earned his fifth straight appearance based on perhaps his best season at left tackle. A decent percentage of McCoy's success can be directly attributed to Peters plowing over defenders. The 29-year-old flourished under new offensive line coach Howard Mudd, who has his athletic linemen initiate contact at the snap.
Babin's career revival continues with his second straight invite to Hawaii. The defensive end, who bounced around from one team to another through the first six years of his career, has become a sack machine under the guidance of defensive line coach Jim Washburn.
Babin's 18 sacks this season are tied for second most in the league. Last season in Tennessee he set a then-career mark of 12.5 sacks.
"Last year was a big deal because it was something I was working hard to achieve," Babin said. "And this year the pressure was on. ... I felt like I had to perform, getting a new contract and being in a new city. I'm pleased."
While a 7-8 record probably didn't warrant extra invites to the Pro Bowl, arguments could have been made for several other Eagles.
Asomugha, acquired by the Eagles as a free agent during training camp, missed out on his fourth straight Pro Bowl. The 30-year-old has three interceptions and spent most of the season playing a variety of roles for the Eagles, but he struggled at times.
Todd Herremans flawlessly moved from left guard to right tackle this season, and was responsible for protecting Michael Vick's blindside, but right tackles rarely earn honors.
Evan Mathis was signed in late July amid a free agent-signing flurry and came into camp virtually unnoticed. But he won the left guard spot after Herremans moved and became one of the line's most consistent performers. His contract is up after the season, but Mathis could be back next season.
Jenkins, another of the Eagles' free agent additions, got off to a strong start, but waned down the stretch and likely just missed out on his first Pro Bowl, although he could still get invited should a defensive tackle back out.
Defensive end Trent Cole, a two-time Pro Bowler, recorded ten sacks in 13 games, but missed out.
Cornerback Asante Samuel was left out of the Pro Bowl for the first time since 2006.
The Pro Bowl will be played on Jan. 29 in Honolulu a week before the Super Bowl. The Eagles, eliminated from the playoffs over the weekend, don't have to worry about a potential conflict.