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The only thing stable in Cleveland

The only thing stable in Cleveland

With the Cleveland Browns undergoing an overhaul this offseason, there are some rumors that offensive tackle Joe Thomas could be traded. If that’s the case, it could be classified as a charity trade, as arguably no great player has been stuck on such a bad organization as Thomas.

The third overall pick in the 2007 draft, Thomas has never missed a single game. During that time, he has made the Pro Bowl every season, while Cleveland has won just 47 of 144 games. That gives Thomas a career winning percentage of 0.326, and since he has made the Pro Bowl each year, he has the same career winning percentage in each Pro Bowl season.

There have been 78 players to make 9+ Pro Bowls. Among that group, Thomas has the lowest career winning percentage during Pro Bowl seasons. But the shocking thing is that it’s not even close: the 2nd-worst winning percentage belongs to the late Junior Seau, but his teams won 10% more games than Thomas’ Browns!

RkPlayerPositionPro BowlWin %
1Joe ThomasT90.326
2Junior SeauLB120.427
3Willie RoafT110.455
4Ernie StautnerDT-DE-G90.469
5Barry SandersRB100.488
6Harry CarsonLB90.493
7Tim BrownWR90.500
7Larry AllenG-T110.500
9Larry FitzgeraldWR90.507
10Ken HoustonDB120.510
11Tony GonzalezTE140.513
12Ruben BrownG90.521
12Champ BaileyDB120.521
14Jonathan OgdenT-G110.526
15Anthony MunozT110.527
16Jim RingoC100.541
17Derrick BrooksLB110.545
18Mike MunchakG90.546
19Walt SweeneyG90.548
20Joe SchmidtLB100.549
21Leo NomelliniDT-T100.554
22Walter JonesT90.556
23Gino MarchettiDE-T-DT110.564
24John HannahG90.566
25Bruce MatthewsG-C-T140.567
26Jason WittenTE100.569
27Brian DawkinsDB90.573
28Will ShieldsG120.578
29Lawrence TaylorLB100.588
30Julius PeppersDE90.590
31Ray LewisLB130.594
32Merlin OlsenDT140.594
33Randall McDanielG120.599
34Chris HanburgerLB90.599
35Charles WoodsonDB90.604
35Warren MoonQB90.604
37Emlen TunnellDB90.606
38Jim OttoC120.607
39Yale LaryDB90.607
40Bruce SmithDE110.611
41DeMarcus WareLB90.611
42Maxie BaughanLB90.612
43Mike WebsterC-G90.613
44Rod WoodsonDB110.614
45Fran TarkentonQB90.619
46Rosey BrownT90.619
47Walter PaytonRB90.620
48Reggie WhiteDE-DT130.630
49Joe GreeneDT100.630
50Ed ReedDB90.632
50John LynchDB90.632
52Alan FanecaG-T90.635
53Drew BreesQB90.639
54Norm Van BrocklinQB90.639
55Dan MarinoQB90.643
56Mike HaynesDB90.644
57Mike SingletaryLB100.648
58Willie BrownDB90.651
59Derrick ThomasLB90.656
60Johnny UnitasQB100.658
61Bob LillyDT-DE110.662
62Bobby BellLB-DE90.675
62Jim TyrerT90.675
64Jack LambertLB90.688
65Mel RenfroDB-RB100.689
66Jim BrownFB90.692
67John ElwayQB90.696
68Brett FavreQB110.699
69Forrest GreggT-G-DT90.710
70Randy WhiteDT-LB-DE90.711
71Ronnie LottDB100.717
72Tom MackG110.731
73Franco HarrisRB90.739
74Jerry RiceWR130.747
75Alan PageDT90.758
76Peyton ManningQB140.759
77Tom BradyQB110.773
78Lou GrozaT-C-DT-K90.778

To find a player with a worse winning percentage in Pro Bowl seasons, you would need to drop the minimum Pro Bowl threshold to six; at that point, running back/utility man Ollie Matson (0.319) would take over. Drop it to five Pro Bowls, and linebacker Tommy Nobis (0.264), defensive back Goose Gonsoulin (0.271), and linebacker Brad Van Pelt (0.314) would make the cut as below the Thomas line.  And at four, you’d get defensive tackle Bob Toneff (0.214), offensive lineman Bill Fralic (0.292), Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (0.297), and defensive back Bobby Dillon (0.302).

Among that group, only Matson is in the Hall of Fame.  It goes without saying that among the game’s best players in history, Thomas is on the short list for having played for the worst teams.

  • Interesting that the worst and best players on that list are both lifetime Browns. That could change as early as next year, if Thomas plays elsewhere, and Brady passes Groza — though the Pats would have to go 14-2 for that to happen.

  • sacramento gold miners

    My biggest takeaway is how important the QB position is to success.You have to go down to # 35 to find the first QB, if a team can find a multiple Pro Bowl player at that position, it’s a huge step forward for a franchise. The Browns have been a team with colossal failures at QB, and that has spelled doom for them since reentering the league.

    • Richie

      I agree that QB’s are important (especially in the last 10-15 years). But, I think part of the problem on this chart is that QB performance is closely associated with wins. That makes it much tougher for a QB to make the Pro Bowl if his team isn’t winning.

      I can’t remember if Chase has ever done a comparison of Pro Bowl awards to winning percentage – by position. I imagine QB is most closely correlated.