Running back James Cook and left tackle Dion Dawkins were named to the 2024 Pro Bowl Games roster Wednesday night.
For Cook, the Pro Bowl nod is the first in his young career. The second-year had a dominant first full year as the Bills starting running back. Entering Week 18, Cook leads the AFC in rushing yards with 1,086 and has added a pair of touchdowns. The former Georgia Bulldog has also proved his viability in the passing game, accounting for 41 receptions for 429 yards and four receiving touchdowns. In the Bills' 31-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Cook tallied 221 total yards and two touchdowns in his best game as a pro.
"You can see the confidence that he's playing with. And just like any running back, you get some touches, you kind of see a little more and the game kind of slows down for him," said interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady after Cook's career performance against the Cowboys. "I think he's doing a great job as the season's going on of getting comfortable in there."
Dawkins, the Bills nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, has played at a high level in both pass and run protection all season. This marks the third straight season Dawkins has been selected to the Pro Bowl as he continues to assert himself as one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL. His pass block win rate of 93 percent is the best rate among offensive tackles in the AFC entering Week 18 and the seven-year veteran has allowed just one sack this season.
Dawkins and the rest of the Bills offensive line paved the way for Cook's explosive performance against the Cowboys. On Cook's touchdown run, Dawkins pushed a defender over 20 yards downfield to allow room for his running back to find the end zone.
"He's playing the best football of his career, he really is," said quarterback Josh Allen in November. "He's excited about stuff in the run game. He's taking such a professional approach in how he prepares. He's put in a lot of work this offseason in terms of his body composition."
Seven other Bills were named as alternates. Quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs are first alternates, center Mitch Morse and defensive end Leonard Floyd are second alternates, tight end Dalton Kincaid and defensive tackle Ed Oliver are third alternates and tight end Dawson Knox is a fifth alternate.
Allen, who has been to two Pro Bowls in his career, leads the NFL in total touchdowns with 42 heading into the final week of the regular season. Earlier this season, Allen set a record for games with both a passing and rushing touchdown in a single season with 10. He is also tied with Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts with 15 rushing touchdowns this season, an NFL record for quarterback rushing touchdowns in a single season. As the regular season nears its conclusion, Allen is seventh in passing yards and passing touchdowns with 3,947 and 27, respectively.
Diggs, a three-time Pro Bowler, notched his sixth-straight season with over 1,000 receiving yards, adding eight touchdowns in the process. With 100 receptions in the season's first 16 games, Diggs became only the third player in NFL history to reach 100 or more receptions in four or more consecutive seasons. The connection between Allen and Diggs remains one of the most dynamic in the NFL.
Morse has been the anchor of the Bills offensive line since joining the team in 2019. A three-time captain, Morse has helped lead the Bills offensive line to one of their best seasons in recent memory. In 606 dropbacks, the Bills offensive line has allowed just 10 sacks, the best rate in the NFL. Overall, Allen has only been sacked just 21 times this season, the lowest among quarterbacks who have been active for the entire season.
Floyd, who the Bills signed in free agency over the offseason, has played one of his best seasons since entering the NFL in 2016. Floyd leads the Bills with 10.5 sacks, with a single-game high of 2.5 in the Bills Week 10 win over the New York Jets. Floyd has been an integral part of a Bills defensive line that has the third-most sacks in the NFL with 53.
In the season following his four-year contract extension, Oliver has put together his best year as a pro. Oliver has accounted for career-highs in total tackles (50), sacks (9.5), quarterback hits (16) and had his first career interception against the New England Patriots in Week 17. Oliver has the 16th-highest pass rush win rate (12 percent) and the sixth-highest run stop win rate (41 percent) among eligible defensive tackles this season. Oliver has made big-time plays in big-time moments throughout the season, proving that the extension he signed over the offseason was well worth it for the Bills.
The Bills' first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Dalton Kincaid has already made his mark on Buffalo, setting the rookie record for catches with 66, surpassing Sammy Watkins. From the beginning of the season, Kincaid has been a valuable part of the Bills passing attack, with a catch rate of 79.5 percent, fifth-highest among tight ends. The product of the University of Utah caught his first career touchdown on an intermediate pass from Allen, sprinting through the end zone and leaping into the stands to celebrate with Bills Mafia.
Despite missing five games due to a wrist injury, Dawson Knox has continued to be an important weapon on the Bills offense as both a pass catcher and run blocker. Knox has caught 20 of his 32 targets and scored a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2. In the Bills' Week 16 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, Knox caught a pass over the middle from Allen for a 17-yard gain on the first play of Buffalo's game-winning field goal drive.
This year's Pro Bowl will feature various skill competitions, including the Gridiron Gauntlet, dodgeball and tug-of-war challenges and three flag football games.
The Games will be held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando beginning Feb. 1 through Feb. 4.