Fab Five

Knowing how territorial voting for the Pro Bowl can be Giants defensive end Michael Strahan wasn't sure what kind of effect his candidacy might have on teammate Osi Umenyiora, the other anchor on the defensive line. Strahan felt both deserved recognition, a point supported by their statistics. But he realized it would be unusual if both were named.

His concern wasn't necessary. Strahan and Umenyiora were named to the Pro Bowl along with halfback Tiki Barber, special teams star David Tyree and tight end Jeremy Shockey. "The thing I'm most happy about is that I get to go back with Osi," Strahan said. "I'm more happy for him than I am for myself. He's having such a great year and it's good to see that others are recognizing him." The class of five is the largest for the Giants since 1990. Linebacker Antonio Pierce, kicker Jay Feely and punt returner Chad Morton were first alternates. "When you are winning and have many people making contributions you definitely are going to have better results as far as [the Pro Bowl]," Strahan said. The game will be played Feb. 12 in Honolulu. The starting lineups will be announced Jan. 7 on ABC during halftime of a Wild Card playoff game. This is Strahan's seventh trip to the Pro Bowl, the first for Umenyiora. They are the first Giants from the same position group to be selected since linebackers Lawrence Taylor and Pepper Johnson in 1990. No two Giants defensive linemen had been chosen in the same season since Leonard Marshall and Jim Burt in 1986. Umenyiora led the Giants with 12.5 sacks heading into the season finale against Oakland. Strahan, recovered from a pectoral tear that ended his 2004 season in November, had 11.5. "I definitely thought that Strahan would go," Umenyiora said. "I didn't think we'd both get voted in. I just think I'm in the right place at the right time. The coaching staff has helped me out tremendously. I don't even know what to say other than I'm just happy [to be going]." Strahan and Umenyiora are the first Giants tandem since Strahan and Chad Bratzke in 1998 to each have at least 10 sacks. "It feels good coming off last year with the injury," Strahan said. Only Lawrence Taylor (10), Harry Carson (nine), Rosie Brown and Emlen Tunnell (eight) have made more Pro Bowls than Strahan as Giants. This will be Barber's second straight trip to the Pro Bowl, a feat he accomplished with his second consecutive 1,500-yard season. He will be joined by his twin brother, Ronde, a defensive back with the Bucs. "Another family vacation paid for by the NFL," said Tiki Barber, who broke the Giants single-game rushing record with 220 yards against the Chiefs on Dec. 17. "But it is special because it's only my second one [selection]. It's definitely special and it's something I'm very proud of. It represents all of the guys in the locker room that have been supporting and helping me to have the season I'm having." Shockey's third trip in four seasons is a source of great personal pride. After injuries cost him last season, he dedicated himself to an offseason workout program in Miami – away from the Giants offseason workout program – that obviously paid dividends. "It's good to know that hard work paid off in the offseason," Shockey said. "But like I said, there are bigger things, a bigger picture. There were some other guys on the team that definitely deserved to go. You can't tell me there are any receivers in the NFC better than Plaxico [Burress]." Shockey was second to Burress in receptions with 65 for 891 yards and seven touchdowns. In the NFC, only Seattle halflback Shaun Alexander, the NFL's touchdown leader, received more votes from fans. Tyree's first Pro Bowl follows his selection last season as an alternate. He's the first Giants special teamer to make it since Reyna Thompson in 1990. Despite missing three games with an elbow injury, he has developed a reputation for being tough to block and quick downfield to down punts. "I consider myself an elite player when it comes to what I do on special teams," Tyree said. "Obviously, they drafted me and I think their intentions were there, but I had the expectation myself – I expected to be there last year. I think it is a little sweeter, knowing that my impact was at a crucial time for the entire football team."

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