≡ Menu

Emmitt knows the point of a good fullback.

Emmitt knows the point of a good fullback.

Ever wonder what percentage of Super Bowl champions had a Pro Bowl quarterback? Can you get by without a star-studded secondary? The table below shows the number of Pro Bowlers made at each position for each Super Bowl champion.

As it turns out, 30 of 47 Super Bowl champions saw their quarterback made the Pro Bowl. That doesn’t include the 2012 Ravens, as Joe Flacco was not a Pro Bowl selection, but it does include the ’69 Chiefs, the only team with two quarterbacks to make the Pro Bowl (Len Dawson and Mike Livingston). The Ravens did have two Pro Bowl running backs, though (Ray Rice and Vonta Leach), joining the ’93 Cowboys (Emmitt Smith, Daryl Johnston) and the ’72 and ’73 Dolphins (Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris) as the only Super Bowl champs with multiple Pro Bowl running backs.

Arguably the least represented position is cornerback, which might be relevant to yesterday’s post: the average Super Bowl champion had just 0.45 Pro Bowl cornerbacks, the lowest average among positions that always have multiple starters (as opposed to defensive tackles or inside linebackers). Both Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams made the Pro Bowl for the 2010 Packers, but eight of the last nine Super Bowl champions failed to place a single cornerback in the Pro Bowl in that season. The full table, below:

Year
Tm
QB
RB
WR
TE
T
G
C
DT
DE
ILB
OLB
CB
S
K
P
ST
Tot
Avg0.660.620.570.230.490.450.340.430.60.360.510.450.790.230.116.96
2012BAL02000101000010016
2011NYG10000000100000002
2010GNB00101000001210006
2009NOR10001110010020007
2008PIT00000000011010003
2007NYG00000000100000001
2006IND10201010000000005
2005PIT00000111001010005
2004NWE11000000110001016
2003NWE00000001100100003
2002TAM11000001111010007
2001NWE10100000000110004
2000BAL00001001010011005
1999STL11101000100100006
1998DEN111111100010110010
1997DEN11010010100000005
1996GNB10010010100010005
1995DAL111112101000100010
1994SFO111101110001200010
1993DAL121111110100100011
1992DAL11110110000000006
1991WAS11101100100101008
1990NYG00000111011000117
1989SFO11200100000010006
1988SFO01100001001010016
1987WAS00100000100100003
1986NYG01011001111000108
1985CHI11001010211010009
1984SFO110011100012200010
1983RAI00011000102110018
1982WAS10100000000011015
1981SFO10100100100110006
1980OAK01001000001100105
1979PIT111000111111100010
1978PIT111000111111100010
1977DAL10110001100021008
1976OAK10111100001000107
1975PIT111000011121200011
1974PIT01000001102001006
1973MIA121011101100210012
1972MIA02101100110020009
1971DAL10001101001110108
1970BAL00000000110010003
1969KAN210011020111010011
1968NYJ112011012100010011
1967GNB00101100101211009
1966GNB10002001101110008
Avg0.660.620.570.230.490.450.340.430.60.360.510.450.790.230.116.96

Note: The farther back in time you go, the less clear some of the designations are regarding special teams player. Did Morris make the Pro Bowl as a running back, a returner, or a great player who was a running back and returner? As a result, take the “ST” column — which shows punt and kick returners along with special teams “aces” that made the Pro Bowl — with a grain of salt.

Other interesting note: the ’68 Jets and the ’85 Bears are the only two teams with two Pro Bowl defensive ends, and arguably Chicago’s Dan Hampton was just as much defensive tackle as he was end that year (he switched mid-way through the season to accommodate the Fridge). Those Jets are also one of just three teams to send two wide receivers to the Pro Bowl.

{ 6 comments }
  • Zulwarn March 9, 2013, 7:22 pm

    I worked out a percent value for each position, based on 22 starters, with your numbers. No surprise at QB but a couple surprises on defense.

    OLB – 6.37%
    ILB – 6.00%
    DT – 7.17%
    DE – 7.50%
    CB – 5.62%
    S – 9.87%

    QB – 16.50%
    C – 8.50%
    OG – 5.62%
    OT – 6.12%
    WR – 7.12%
    TE – 4.32%
    RB – 9.58%

    Reply
  • Zulwarn March 9, 2013, 8:29 pm

    Assumed number of starters for each position, btw.
    OLB – 2
    ILB – 1.5
    DT – 1.5
    DE – 2
    CB – 2
    S – 2

    QB – 1
    C – 1
    OG – 2
    OT – 2
    WR – 2
    TE – 1.33
    RB – 1.67

    Reply
  • Tim Truemper March 10, 2013, 12:29 pm

    Who was the 3rd 1968 Jets wide receiver to make the Pro Bowl? Maynard and Sauer I know, and Pete Lammons was the TE. But per my brief research, there was no 3rd Jet receiver on the Pro Bowl. Just curious.

    Reply
    • Chase Stuart March 10, 2013, 12:50 pm

      Whoops – the table had it right, but I meant to write three teams with two Pro Bowlers.

      Reply
  • willgfass March 10, 2013, 10:22 pm

    There’s a perverse pride in seeing the Giants win the superbowl with the lowest and 2nd lowest amount of pro bowlers (Although Plaxico should have been there in 2007)

    Reply
  • Richie March 11, 2013, 1:26 pm

    This isn’t something I had ever thought about before, but when you posed the original question, I figured the teams of yesteryear had more Pro Bowlers than modern teams.

    I assumed that the per-free agency teams probably built their teams up with more stars, and those guys stayed on the teams (and were able to retain their voting popularity). I also figured that the pre-2002ish teams, when the top seeds were most likely making the Super Bowl meant the teams with the most good players was winning.

    Also, fewer teams in 1971, so the odds are just higher that they would have more Pro Bowl players.

    Reply

Leave a Comment