Slain Redskins safety voted to Pro Bowl

Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor led the NFC in interceptions when he died from a gunshot wound Nov. 27. (NICK WASS ~ Associated Press)

NEW YORK -- Sean Taylor was voted to the NFC Pro Bowl team posthumously on Tuesday, three weeks after he was shot during a burglary at his Florida home.

The Washington Redskins defensive back got a starting position on the team at free safety. He was having an outstanding season and was among the leaders in fan balloting for a team selected by a combination of fans, players and coaches.

Both conferences were dominated by players from the teams at the top of the standings. Seven teams had no Pro Bowlers, including Jacksonville (10-4) and all four in the NFC South, for the game to be played Feb. 10 in Honolulu.

Unbeaten New England had eight players voted to the AFC team, led by quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Randy Moss. New England linebacker Mike Vrabel made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his 11th season.

Dallas, tied for first place with Green Bay in the NFC, had 11, including quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Terrell Owens. Dallas dominated the fan voting, one major reason it had so many players on the squad.

One of the Cowboys, running back Marion Barber, is not a starter for Dallas although he leads the team with 871 yards rushing. That's 315 more than starter Julius Jones, but is just seventh in the NFC. But Barber has 11 touchdowns.

The Packers had four players on the team, including Brett Favre, who will start at quarterback for the NFC. It is the ninth Pro Bowl for the 38-year-old Favre, his first since 2003.

San Diego, like New England, had eight players chosen. Minnesota was second in the NFC with seven, including rookie Adrian Peterson, who leads the conference in rushing.

Taylor is the only player known to have made an all-star team posthumously in any sport since goaltender Pelle Lindbergh made the NHL All-Star game in February 1986. He had been killed in an auto accident in November, 1985 after playing eight games for the Philadelphia Flyers, for whom he had won the Vezina Trophy as the league's best goalie the previous season.

Before his death, Taylor was leading the NFL in interceptions with five.

Teams with no players selected were the Jaguars, Jets, Buccaneers, Saints, Panthers, Falcons and Lions. Tampa Bay is 9-5 and has clinched the NFC South and New Orleans remains in contention for a playoff spot.

There are 18 first-timers on the AFC team, 11 in the NFC. Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden of Baltimore was voted to his 11th straight Pro Bowl in his 12th season.

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