FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys had their sights on another Bowl this postseason.
But, as the highest-seed team eliminated from the NFC playoffs, the Cowboys' coaching staff will be in Orlando next week coaching the NFC Pro Bowl team. Five Cowboys players were selected to the roster by a combination of fan, player and coach votes: Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
It's the second time in the last three years the Cowboys' staff has coached the NFL's annual all-star game, which will be played Saturday, Jan. 29 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.
"It's actually a great experience once you're there," head coach Jason Garrett said. "In some ways it's a dubious distinction. You don't want to be the team coaching in the Pro Bowl because it means you've lost in this round. At some point we'll get our eyes forward on that and we'll put a little plan together.
"You get a chance to be around some of the best players in the National Football League and my experience there has been a really positive one. You have a healthy respect for a lot of these guys from afar and typically you get a chance to be around them for a week and you understand why they're so good physically but also how they approach the game."
Pro Bowl week coincides with Senior Bowl week in Mobile, Ala., where last year the Cowboys staff coached the North Team. Prescott, the game's MVP, played for the South Team, and the Cowboys thought it was a beneficial pre-draft evaluation experience.
The staff isn't expected to be in Mobile next week, Garrett said, but the organization's scouting and personnel staff will attend as usual.
"That is part of the evaluation process," Garrett said. "Different years based on the schedule you are able to do more of that or less of that. Last was a good experience for us because we actually coached in the Senior Bowl. This year we won't do that. But we will have a number of our scouts there, a number of our personnel people down there watching the players, interviewing the players and evaluating them."