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Notre Dame Football: Two Former Irish Players Named to the Pro Bowl

Former Irish stars, Harrison Smith and Zach Martin, were named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Pro Bowl teams were announced on Tuesday and there was a little Irish flavor to them. Zach Martin of the Dallas Cowboys and Harrison Smith of the Minnesota Vikings were both named to the team.

This is Martin’s third straight Pro Bowl selection. He’s been named to the Pro Bowl each year he’s been in the league. Martin has helped anchor one of the best offenses in the league. The Cowboys are fifth in total offense and second in rushing.

With the help of Martin, along with the rest of the offensive line, running back Ezekiel Elliot very well could be on his way to a Rookie of the Year award and maybe an MVP award. The Cowboys have already clinched a playoff spot. They currently have the best record in the NFC and are tied with the New England Patriots for best record in the NFL.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

This is Smith’s second consecutive selection. During the offseason Smith signed the largest contract ever for a free safety, and has lived up to the expectations. Despite missing the last two games, Smith ranks in the top seven among free safeties in tackles, sacks, and tackles for loss.

Smith has helped lead the Vikings to one of the best defenses in the league. Minnesota ranks third in total defense, third in passing defense and sixth in scoring defense. The Vikings are currently sit at third in the NFC North and their playoff hopes may be dwindling.

These are just the initial selections, but as the playoffs unfold and injuries that may occur more players could be added to the roster. If more former Fighting Irish players are added we’ll make sure to let you know.