NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Wide receiver Victor Cruz, guard Chris Snee and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul have been selected to the 2012 NFC Pro Bowl team.
Pierre-Paul will be the only Giant to start — assuming New York doesn’t make it to the Super Bowl — and Cruz and Snee will serve as backups.
It’s the first Pro Bowl selection for Cruz, who lobbied for a spot in the NFL’s version of the All-Star Game with a social media campaign earlier this season.
Needless to say, he’s thrilled to be heading to Hawaii.
“I’m honored and humbled to be selected,” the Paterson, N.J., native said. “It really is a dream come true for me. The Pro Bowl is a great individual achievement, but I know I couldn’t have been named to the Pro Bowl without the support of my teammates. Eli (Manning) is one of the great quarterbacks in the game. He has done so much for my career.”
The third-year player has caught 82 passes for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He’s also the only player in franchise history to record 80 receptions, 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns, and he’s achieved that feat in consecutive seasons.
Still, his focus remains on the task at hand, which is finishing the regular season strong and finding a way to get into the postseason.
“Right now I’m really focused on going out Sunday and our team playing as well as it can,” Cruz said. “(I’m focused on) getting a great team win against the Eagles and hoping we get the opportunity to further our season.”
Snee, who earned a spot in the Pro Bowl in 2008, 2009 and 2010, has started every game this season for the G-Men.
“It’s always an honor to be selected to the Pro Bowl,” Snee said. “It doesn’t quite feel right, coming off of our last two performances, but it is an honor because you’ve earned the respect of your peers, the coaches and, of course, the fans.”
Pierre-Paul is a Pro Bowl selection for the second straight year, though his stats have come down from 2011. Still, he leads the team in sacks with 6.5 (down from 16.5 last season) and is fourth on the squad in tackles with 61. He also leads the team with 12 tackles for losses.
“Just like last year, I would much rather not play in the game because I want to be with my team at the Super Bowl,” the South Florida alum said. “But it’s a great honor to be selected among the best in the NFL at my position.”
Five other members of the Giants were selected as Pro Bowl alternates.
Kicker Lawrence Tynes is a first alternate, quarterback Eli Manning and running back/kick returner David Wilson are second alternates and center David Baas and safety Stevie Brown are fourth alternates.
Were Cruz, Snee and Pierre-Paul deserving of the honor? Were any Giants snubbed? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…