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Before NFL Network's Final Top 10; Staff Gives Its Version Of NFL's Best

The NFL Network is wrapping up its annual Top 100 Players list, which concludes Wednesday night with the final 10 players.

While it won't have any current Cowboys on the list, the writers of will debate that maybe it should.

Four Cowboys made the list, starting with Jason Witten (93), Tyron Smith (36), Tony Romo (34) and then Dez Bryant. The Cowboys' star receiver ranked 15th overall, which was good for the fourth receiver in the NFL, behind Julio Jones (13th) and then Calvin Johnson and Antonio Brown, who will be both featured in the final 10 players.

That final 10 list also includes quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Tom Brady, running backs DeMarco Murray and Marshawn Lynch, defensive end J.J. Watt, tight end Rob Gronkowski.

But the staff writers had their vote, the final list would have a different look, inserting a total of nine players that won't be featured in Wednesday's final Top 10, a two-hour finale that airs at 7 p.m. (CDT) on NFL Network.

Here's how the group voted for the Top 10 NFL Players.

David Helman:

  1. JJ Watt, Houston
  2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
  3. Calvin Johnson, Detroit
  4. Tom Brady, New England
  5. Darrelle Revis, New York Jets
  6. Joe Thomas, Cleveland
  7. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis
  8. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle
  9. Dez Bryant, Dallas
  10. Justin Houston, Kansas City

Summary:For all the complaining I might do about the actual list the NFL Network released, it's pretty hard to compile a list of the 10 best players in the NFL. For instance, Peyton Manning, arguably the best quarterback ever, didn't crack my list as a result of his slump down the stretch of last season. I was sorely tempted to put Aaron Rodgers at No. 1, but I just can't get over how insanely good J.J. Watt is at everything – including tight end, not to mention his status as the best pass rusher in the game. The two biggest highlights on my list are Darrelle Revis and Joe Thomas, at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively. Revis is absolutely the best corner in the game, and it's criminal that he fell as low as No. 17 on this year's list. Thomas, meanwhile, has never missed a game, has made the Pro Bowl in all eight years of his career and has been a first-team All-Pro six years running. How can the best left tackle in the game not be among the league's 10 best players? Marshawn Lynch has run for 1,200-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in four-straight seasons, which is an Emmitt Smith-like accomplishment. I think Dez and Justin Houston are going to skyrocket up this list in future years. They're both just 26 years old. Dez has 50 touchdowns since 2011, while Houston has 48.5 sacks in that same timespan. They're both freaks, and deserve to be top 10 players.

Nick Eatman:

  1. J.J. Watt, Houston
  2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
  3. Tom Brady, New England
  4. Peyton Manning, Denver
  5. Calvin Johnson, Detroit
  6. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle
  7. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis
  8. Dez Bryant, Dallas
  9. Richard Sherman, Seattle
  10. Odell Beckham Jr., NY Giants

Summary: I didn't think Watt deserved to be MVP of the league because as great as he is, the Texans still finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs. But this isn't about "Value," this is best player. And nobody is better than Watt in my opinion. I still think Manning deserves to be up there high despite struggling last year down the stretch when he was hurt. Some might disagree with Johnson up that high but he's still a beast, and Dez isn't far behind. I really like Antonio Brown[embeddedad0] (mainly because he was a fantasy football stud last year) but I don't think he's better than Dez. I like Sherman and everything he brings to the table and while this might be a tad premature, I still think Beckham Jr. is about to take over this league. He hasn't even played a full season but I don't think there are 10 players that can take over a game better than he can. If I had an 11th spot, I'd give it to Luke Kuechly.

Bryan Broaddus:

  1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
  2. J.J. Watt, Houston
  3. Tom Brady, New England
  4. Ndamukong Suh, Miami
  5. Dez Bryant, Dallas
  6. Rob Gronkowski, New England
  7. Luke Kuechly, Carolina
  8. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis
  9. Darrelle Revis, New York Jets
  10. Earl Thomas, Seattle

Summary: After seeing what Aaron Rodgers was able to do down the stretch and into the playoffs on one leg was quite an impressive feat. J.J. Watt deserved every vote he got for league MVP. Tom Brady continues to amaze me in the way that the cast of characters changes, but he remains the same. Defensive players rarely control the game from the tackle spot, but Ndamukong Suh does. People have talked about Calvin Johnson

for years – Dez Bryant is* *becoming that guy. There is not a more difficult player to cover one-on-one than Rob Gronkowski. I have loved Luke Kuechly since his days at Boston College. It took Peyton Manning a few seasons to enjoy playoff success before things started to really come together -- Andrew Luck is on that path with the Colts. Darrelle Revis doesn't give an inch, even at his age. Earl Thomas might just be a safety but I couldn't imagine the Seahawks really being a shut-down defense without him.

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