The Pro Bowl is set to kick off this weekend at the site of the Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., pitting this season’s best players against each other in the NFL’s version of an all-star game. Several rule changes in the past few years have made the game more exciting, and this year’s contest should be a fun and entertaining showcase of the league’s elite talents.
One of the big changes came last year when the NFL decided to remove the traditional AFC vs. NFC head-to-head format. Instead, the league now picks two honorary captains, who then choose their teams and fill out the rosters via a fantasy draft. This year’s captains are two Hall of Famers, Michael Irvin and Cris Carter.
Irvin, the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, surprised no one by picking every Cowboy available. This includes DeMarco Murray, Tony Romo, Jason Witten, three-fifths of the Dallas offensive line, and even the Cowboys’ long snapper. Carter took Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck with his first pick, and then gave him a multitude of weapons to work with on the outside, selecting top receivers Antonio Brown, A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton and Jordy Nelson.
The major change implemented for this year’s game is that the width of the goal posts will be narrowed from 18 feet to 14 feet. Goal posts have been a standard width of 18 feet 6 inches in the NFL since the 1920s, but with field goal accuracy reaching historic highs in recent years, the league is trying to find ways to make kicks more challenging.
Read the full NFL Pro Bowl preview here.