IRVING, Texas --The Pro Bowl voters got their quarterbacks right, at least partially. Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Eli Manning all deserve to represent the NFC.
Too bad there isn't a fourth spot. Tony Romo belongs in Hawaii, too. Really, so does Detroit's Matthew Stafford.
The fourth-quarter meltdowns against the Jets and Lions notwithstanding, this is Romo's best season yet. The numbers are there; his 102.2 passer rating through 15 games would be a career high, and only three Super Bowl MVPs – Rodgers (122.5), Brees (108.4) and Brady (105.1) – are better this season. His nine interceptions tie a career low over the course of a full year.
There's the intangible stuff, too. He played nearly half the season with a rib fracture that clearly limited his mobility. He commanded an offense that featured a reworked line and endured injuries at every skill position.
The Cowboys are in position to win the NFC East largely because of his elevated play.
Stafford also deserves consideration for leading the once-lowly Lions to 10 wins and their first playoff berth since 1999. Bonus points for changing the entire direction of a franchise.
2011 just happened to be a landmark year at the position. Rodgers is compiling the type of season even Joe Montana admits he never had. Brees just broke Dan Marino's single-season passing record.
Manning's 90.3 passer rating is below Romo's, but his 4,587 passing yards trail only Brees and Rodgers. He's also a Super Bowl MVP, and that moniker probably breaks a tie in a lot of voters' minds.
At least one of the three QBs will bow out if the Packers, Saints or Lions advance to the Super Bowl. Romo should be the next guy in line.
Except he's still got a shot to play his way into Indianapolis, too.