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Taylor, Samuels, Cooley Make Pro Bowl

The Redskins have three Pro Bowl players this year: Chris Samuels, Chris Cooley and the late Sean Taylor

Taylor, a free safety, was named a Redskins starter. Samuels and Cooley were listed as backups at offensive tackle and tight end, respectively.

It is Taylor's second Pro Bowl honor. He was named to the squad as a backup last season.

Taylor died in a tragic shooting at his home in Miami last month. At the time, the 6-2, 212-pound free safety had established himself as an elite player in the league.

He was leading the NFL in interceptions with five and also had 46 tackles (34 solo), one forced fumble and eight passes defended on the season.

In online fan voting on NFL.com, Taylor was the leading vote-getter among NFC free safeties.

Samuels earned his fifth Pro Bowl honor. The 6-5, 317-pounder has started every game at left tackle this season.

He has helped lead a ground game that is ranked 11th in the NFL with an average of 116.7 yards per game.

Samuels has faced off against some of the NFL's top pass rushers, including Jason Taylor, DeMarcus Ware, Osi Umenyiora and Trent Cole. As a unit, the Redskins' offense has allowed 24 sacks through 14 games, tied for 11th-best in the league.

It is Cooley's first Pro Bowl bid. Fresh off a contract extension earlier this year, Cooley becomes the first Redskins tight end to make the Pro Bowl since Stephen Alexander in 2000.

A consistent and reliable option in the passing game, Cooley leads the Redskins with 60 receptions for 711 yards. His seven touchdowns this season ties a career high, set in 2005.

Cooley is tied for the fifth-most catches by a tight end in the NFL, trailing Jason Witten (88 catches), Tony Gonzalez (82), Kellen Winslow (71) and Antonio Gates (68). Owen Daniels also has 60 grabs among NFL tight ends.

In the NFC, Cooley has the second-most catches, trailing only Witten. Jeremy Shockey of the Giants is third with 57 catches.

The Redskins have five more players listed as alternates. They will be named to the Pro Bowl should a player back out or suffer an injury between now and the all-star game.

Fullback Mike Sellers is a first alternate, running back Clinton Portis and kick returner Rock Cartwright are second alternates and middle linebacker London Fletcher and strong safety LaRon Landry are third alternates.

As in years past, the squad selection process consists of votes from coaches, players and fans. The consensus ballots of NFL fans, players and coaches each count one-third towards determining the 43-man rosters representing the AFC and NFC.

The Pro Bowl will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday, Feb. 10 and will be televised by FOX.

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