8 Texans' Stars Rewarded with Pro Bowl Selections

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistDecember 27, 2012

Johnson stands alone among Houston receivers.
Johnson stands alone among Houston receivers.USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans, the team with the best record in the AFC, was rewarded with a bevy of honors as eight regulars were named to the Pro Bowl.

The NFL announced that five Texans will start for the AFC including Andre Johnson (sixth selection), Arian Foster (third selection) and Duane Brown.

Defensive player of the year front-runner J.J. Watt will join Johnathan Joseph (second selection) as starters.

Matt Schaub (second selection) edged out Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts in what was a mildly controversial but unquestionably correct decision. Schaub was obviously the better quarterback on the better team, but Luck is a name draw, something the Pro Bowl needs.

Fortunately, the voters chose to reward performance over name recognition.

Chris Myers and Wade Smith were selected as interior linemen.

Eight Texans represents a franchise record.

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There were no major surprises or snubs from the Texans, though it was nice to see so many players rewarded for a fine season. Smith's selection was the only minor surprise, but given the overall play of the left side of the line, it's difficult to argue.

Conversely, Antonio Smith merited some recognition for his play on the defensive front, but it's hard to argue with the choices for the AFC.

Joseph's play has also suffered in the second half of the season thanks to injuries, but he is one of the best corner's in the league when healthy.

As much as all those selected are honored, even the first-time participants are hoping they won't have to play in the game.

The team that makes the Super Bowl won't have its players participate in the game.

Watt, Johnson and company will be more than happy to sit on the sidelines.