On the surface, making or not making the All-Pro team doesn’t mean much, unless of course significant incentives are tied to the designation. At a deeper level, a snub could provide motivation, for example, for any players who will be playing playoff games in the days after the All-Pro team is announced.
49ers defensive end Nick Bosa very well may derive some motivation on Sunday against the Cowboys due to his omission from the All-Pro team.
“I definitely think Bosa should be there,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Friday. “There’s no doubt about that, I don’t think people appreciate how good Bosa is, play-in and play-out. I’ve heard people talk about him for comeback player of the year and every time they say that I can’t believe he hasn’t been mentioned in defensive player of the year. So that was a surprise to me.”
Bosa received five All-Pro votes, putting him at fifth among all edge rushers.
A year after missing most of the season after suffering a Week Two ACL tear, Bosa finished the season with 15.5 sacks, fourth in the league. He had 32 quarterback hits, good for third in the league.
It’s hard to make a stronger case for Bosa as defensive player of the year over T.J. Watt, who tied the single-season sack record of 22.5 in only 15 games. But Bosa is indeed one of the finest pass rushers in football, and Shanahan’s praise will come in handy this offseason, as Bosa likely pursues a second contract similar to if not better than the $27 million per year that his brother Joey has gotten from the Chargers.
More immediately, Bosa can prove voters wrong — and set himself up for a major payday — by wreaking havoc on the Cowboys’ offensive line on Sunday.