IRVING, Texas - As the Cowboys enter the playoffs for the first time in five years, they will do so with the most players from one team on this year’s All-Pro team, announced Friday by *The Associated Press. *
The Cowboys have a league-high four players, including guard Zack Martin, who becomes the first Cowboys rookie to be named All-Pro in 45 years and the third ever along with Bob Hayes and Calvin Hill.
Also earning their first All-Pro selections were running back DeMarco Murray, wide receiver Dez Bryant and offensive tackle Tyron Smith.
All four of these players were among the six Cowboys to make the Pro Bowl, along with Tony Romo and Travis Frederick. But the All-Pro team is even more exclusive considering the list has just one player from each position.
The four All-Pro players is the most for the Cowboys since they had six on the AP squad in 2007.
Martin, the 16th overall player taken in the 2014 draft, was a scrutinized pick by some, considering the Cowboys had the worst defense in the NFL the previous year. But the addition of Martin was supposed to bolster the offensive line, giving them three first-round picks. That’s exactly what happened as the Cowboys became one of the more dominating running teams in the league.
Murray, who was just two votes shy of being a unanimous pick for the All-Pro squad, led the entire NFL in rushing with 1,845, the most yards in a single-season in franchise history.
Bryant led the NFL in touchdown catches with 16, which was also a Cowboys single-season record.
Smith, who protected Romo’s blind side, typically faces the opponent’s best pass rusher, but is also considered one of the best blocking left tackles in football.
Romo did receive the second-most votes for a quarterback behind Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.
Here’s the first-team All-Pro for 2014, voted on by the writers of *The Associated Press. *
QB – Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
RB – DeMarco Murray, Dallas
RB – Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh
FB – John Kuhn, Green Bay
TE – Rob Gronkowski, New England (u)
WR – Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh
WR – Dez Bryant, Dallas
OT – Tyron Smith, Dallas
OT – Joe Thomas, Cleveland
G – Zack Martin, Dallas
G – Marshall Yanda, Baltimore
C- Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh
K – Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis
KR – Adam Jones, Cincinnati
DE – J.J. Watt, Houston (u)
DE – Mario Williams, Buffalo
DT – Ndamukong Suh, Detroit
DT – Marcell Dareus, Buffalo
OLB – Justin Houston, Kansas City
OLB – Elvis Dumervil, Baltimore
ILB – Luke Kuechly, Carolina
CB – Darrelle Revis, New England
CB – Richard Sherman, Seattle
S – Earl Thomas, Seattle
S – Eric Weddle, San Diego
P – Pat McAfee
(u) – unanimous selection