The Pro Bowl moved closer to “must DVR” status Monday when rookie quarterbacks Cam Newton and Andy Dalton were added to the NFC and AFC teams, respectively. This marks the first time two rookie QBs have made the teams.
Newton, who passed for over 4,000 yards and 21 touchdowns and rushed for 14 more with the Carolina Panthers, was added when Eli Manning and the New York Giants advanced to Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday night. Dalton, who passed for 3,398 yards and 21 TDs, was added when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots won the AFC championship.
Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, New Orleans’ Drew Brees and Manning were the top three picks for the NFC, with Newton named first alternate. Brady, Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and San Diego’s Philip Rivers were the top three AFC picks.
“He set a standard, a very high standard for any rookie quarterback coming in, and he wants to improve,” Panthers Coach Ron Rivera said of Newton. “He’s gotten better in so many different areas. His basic fundamentals just continue to get better and better. Mentally, he’s getting the grasp of this offense. He’s understanding defenses better and better. You’re starting to see leadership come out of him. He’s really taken his game to next level, and there’s so much room for him to grow. He’s got such a high ceiling.”
The Pro Bowl will be played at 7 p.m. EST Sunday in Hawaii.