The Dolphins had four players selected to the AFC Pro Bowl squad this year, but now that the voting process is over, it's time to dissect the decisions, ponder the picks, size up the selections. Did the Dolphins' four picks deserve to go? Did somehow get left out? Here's how we see it.

By now, we may know the four Dolphins selections were defensive end Adewale Ogunleye, linebacker Zach Thomas, cornerback Patrick Surtain and free safety Brock Marion.

Let us first start by saying it should come as no surprise that the Dolphins had no representatives on offense.

The Dolphins offense has been a disaster all year, and the only one who has anyone near Pro Bowl-caliber numbers is running back Ricky Williams.

But look at it this way, San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson got left out and he leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage.

Randy McMichael has had a decent year, but there were too many good tight ends in the AFC for him to have a shot and he got beaten out by Baltimore's Todd Heap and Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez.

There also was no way the Dolphins were going to get anything on special teams considering how badly their return game has struggled, and the fact that neither Olindo Mare nor Matt Turk had big numbers.

That leaves the defense.

OK, let's start with the defensive line. Adewale Ogunleye clearly deserved to go considering he leads the AFC with 13 sacks. But we'll make the argument that Jason Taylor, with nine sacks, has played about as well as Ogunleye, if not better.

For one thing, Taylor has seen double teams on a lot more consistent basis than Ogunleye this year.

The other two defensive ends selected in the AFC were the Jets' Shaun Ellis and the Colts' Dwight Freeney. Not surprisingly, those guys are 2-3 behind Ogunleye in the sack race.

Hmm. Sacks equal Pro Bowl votes.

At linebacker, Thomas has had a good season and the reality is there's a major drop-off in the AFC at middle linebacker behind Ray Lewis of the Ravens. Thomas was just as deserving as anybody.

At cornerback, Surtain was a no-brainer. He's got seven picks, and that's despite the fact teams rarely throw at him because he's so good in coverage.

We will admit being surprised — shocked might be the word — at Marion making it again. Frankly, this guy just didn't do anything special this season.

It sure helped his cause there are not a lot of quality free safeties in the AFC, whereas there a few good strong safeties.

But Marion really didn't have a Pro Bowl-type season. He does have three picks, but he's been beaten his share of times, one example coming on the first play of the game Monday night against the Eagles when he was late providing deep help to Sam Madison on a bomb that went for 59 yards.

Among guys who might have had a case on defense, Madison actually had a pretty good year, but it's hard to argue with the selections of Surtain, Charles Woodson and Chris McAlister.

Other guys, such as Tim Bowens, Larry Chester, Junior Seau and Sammy Knight, had solid years on defense, but probably not Pro Bowl-caliber years.

So we have no gripe with the Dolphins not getting more defensive selections.

Again, from this vantage point, the Dolphins probably got one freebie because Marion doesn't belong in the Pro Bowl.

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