Arizona Cardinals fans are used to players here not getting the attention they deserve. Aeneas Williams languished here during a time in which the franchise was just awful, but put up numbers that would have made him a superstar in a bigger, more important market. You could put him up there with Deion Sanders.
A pair of Arizona defensive players this season are getting credit for their play and for not getting the recognition they deserve. USA Today released their "All-Joe' team, which is intended to recognize the deserving players who don't get the credit that the bigger names get.
Calais Campbell and Karlos Dansby were on that team.
We know about their play. USA Today called Campbell "the best 3-4 end not named J.J. Watt." That's no surprise here. The combination of production against the run and in his pass rushing ability make him a rare player.
Dansby's lack of recognition baffles me. He didn't make the Pro Bowl despite the tackles, sacks, interceptions, passes defended and touchdowns. I voted for him as Defensive Player of the Year. He gets nothing anywhere else. He is the perfect guy to put on the "All-Joe" team.
I think they got it right on both accounts. Those two players embody what that "joe" is. The other players on the team either don't put enough production on the board or are too well known. Patrick Peterson gets love everywhere. Larry Fitzgerald is a star, but his numbers don't put him here.
Perhaps punter Dave Zastudil would have been an appropriate addition. Seattle's Jon Ryan was the player added by USA Today, and he is a very worthy name. But Zastudil would make a good fit.
Matt Shaughnessy is also the type of player that could be mentioned. He is far less known than anyone on the entire list, and his stats don't tell the story. His work setting the edge was a huge reason why the Cardinals had the league's best rushing defense.
But once again the offensive side of the ball is insufficient. That needs to change.
Would you have added any other Cardinals player to the All-Joe list?