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January 11, 2023

Three Eagles make inaugural Players' All-Pro team

Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, and Darius Slay were recognized as the league's best in a vote by the players

Game recognizes game. 

Results for the first Players' All-Pro team were released Wednesday and three Eagles made the cut – center Jason Kelce, right tackle Lane Johnson, and cornerback Darius Slay. 

Introduced this season to coincide with the traditional Associated Press All-Pro team (voted on by media) and the usual run of end-of-year awards, the NFL Players' Association created a roster voted on entirely by the players themselves and the results, via ESPN's Adam Schefter, are as follows: 

Per the NFLPA, the roster was decided on through a vote by active players, who could not vote for themselves or their teammates. Players who missed five or more games as of Week 15 were ruled ineligible – "being available counts," the PA stated – and players voted by position group and direct opposition. So centers, for example, would vote amongst themselves and for interior defensive linemen. 

It's a new and perhaps more regarded way amongst the players to recognize the league's very best, and falls in a somewhat similar vein to what the NHL does with the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award. The Hart goes to the league's MVP as voted on by the media, while the Ted Lindsay Award goes to the MVP as voted on by the players. 

That Kelce, Johnson, and Slay made the inaugural lineup comes as little surprise. 

Johnson, who's been out since Week 16 with a torn abductor but is expected to be ready for the playoffs, has been regarded as the best right tackle in the NFL for a while now and hasn't been responsible for giving up a sack since the middle of the 2020 season. 

Kelce has also been considered one of the best, if not the best, centers in the league and is on a streak of 139 consecutive starts and counting while continuing to play at an elite level at age 35. 

Slay, although he did cool off in the back-half of the season, had one of the league's top cornerback duos going with James Bradberry on the other side of the field. His lockdown ability was highlighted especially back in Week 2 against the Vikings when he gave star receiver Justin Jefferson nothing to work with. 

There were other names on the Eagles who have an All-Pro case, like quarterback Jalen Hurts, wide receiver A.J. Brown, and edge rusher Haason Reddick, but we'll see if they find themselves on the AP roster when that's revealed later this week.

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