Ellis: 3 Cowboys First- Timers On My Ballot

If you haven't done so yet, and feel so compelled to have your voice heard, make sure to vote for the Pro Bowl by the end of Monday Night Football, when fan balloting concludes.

More players are sure to be added in the week of the game to fill out the roster or as injury replacements, or to take the spot of guys playing in the Super Bowl, but I picked five Cowboys for the game this year.

Making the cut for me were quarterback Tony Romo and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, as well as three first-time Pro Bowlers, fullback Tony Fiammetta, inside linebacker Sean Lee and kicker Dan Bailey.

As big a story each year as who won the trip to Hawaii is who was snubbed, and my ballot includes a pair of notable omissions, tight end Jason Witten and nose tackle Jay Ratliff.

At tight end, there are only two places on the NFC ballot for a fan vote. Breakout star Jimmy Graham of New Orleans has to be there, and Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez has an edge on Witten in both catches and touchdowns, though Witten has an extra 23 yards on Gonzalez.

There is a place for three defensive tackles on the ballot, and Ratliff got serious consideration. However, I chose Green Bay's B.J. Raji, Detroit's Ndamukong Suh and Justin Smith of San Francisco. While Ratliff has made several plays in the backfield this season, his sacks and pressures are still well below the career highs he established a couple years ago, and the Cowboys have been rather susceptible to the run at times this year.

As for those Cowboys who did get my vote, Tony Romo is playing the best football of his life right now, and is on his way to a passer rating over 100.0. He made the game alongside Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.

Tony Fiammetta, who actually wasn't added to the roster until after the season began, won my vote because I've seen firsthand the difference in the Cowboys' running game when he's in the lineup and when he's not. Green Bay's John Kuhn is likely to go to the game for the NFC, even though the Packers running game is nothing special and he is hardly a crucial part of their offense.

The Packers are dominating the fan vote and could establish an all-time record for Pro Bowlers.

Sean Lee has been a difference maker from the very beginning of the season, both in the running game and the passing game, and earned my vote to play along with Patrick Willis of San Francisco at inside linebacker. He's made huge plays in basically every primetime game, and that often means a trip to Hawaii at the end of the year.

DeMarcus Ware appeared poised to challenged Michael Strahan's single-season sack record until a stinger slowed him down the last few weeks. The Packers' Clay Matthews and Brian Orakpo of Washington also got a vote from me.

Dan Bailey does not have the best field goal percentage of any NFC kicker, just a tick behind Atlanta's Matt Bryant and Connor Barth of Tampa Bay, but has made the most kicks of anyone in the conference, including five kicks with the game on the line at the end.

Again, I would expect a few more Cowboys to be headed to Hawaii as alternates - despite the 6-10 season last year, six guys from Dallas made the all-star game. But these are the five guys I thought were most deserving.

Let me know what you think.

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