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Cruz, Snee, JPP named to Pro Bowl team

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz reacts

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz reacts after making a reception during the first the first half on Jan. 15, 2012. Credit: AP

At least three Giants are guaranteed a chance to play beyond Sunday’s regular-season finale. Victor Cruz, Chris Snee and Jason Pierre-Paul were all named to the NFC roster for the Pro Bowl, which will be played in Honolulu on Jan. 27. Pierre-Paul was named a starter for the team.

“I’m honored and humbled to be selected,” said Cruz, who had the most votes from fans among NFC wide receivers. “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. Right now, I’m really focused on going out Sunday and our team playing as well as it can, getting a great team win against the Eagles and hoping we get the opportunity to further our season.”

Cruz, a third-year pro, leads the Giants with 82 catches for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns. He is the only player in franchise history with 80 receptions, 1,000 yards and nine scores – and he’s done it two years in a row. He is only the second Pro Bowl wide receiver since Homer Jones in 1968; Steve Smith was selected in 2009.

Cruz is the only first-timer from the Giants. Snee, a guard, has been to three previous Pro Bowls. There’s a good chance he won’t actually make it to this one since he is battling a hip injury and probably won’t be healthy enough to play in the game. He is, though, the first Giant to be selected to four Pro Bowls since tight end Jeremy Shockey in 2006 and the first Giants offensive lineman to be honored so often since Hall of Famer Rosie Brown was selected to his ninth Pro Bowl in 1965.

“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.”

As for Pierre-Paul, this is the second time he’s been named to the team. Last year he was also a Pro Bowler, but he could not attend the game because he was busy preparing for the Super Bowl instead.

“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," Pierre-Paul said, “but it’s a great honor to be selected among the best in the NFL at my position.”

Several other Giants might wind up heading to Hawaii too. Kicker Lawrence Tynes, who leads the NFL with 33 field goals, is a first alternate. Manning, a Pro Bowler in 2011, and rookie David Wilson (as a kickoff returner) are second alternates. And center David Baas and safety Stevie Brown are fourth alternates.

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