Cowboys WR Amari Cooper Scores in Pro Bowl as NFL Mourns Kobe Bryant
The NFL Pro Bowl, in terms of the actual game, has rarely been rendered more meaningless than it was Sunday in Orlando, as football stars joined the rest of the sports world and beyond in mourning the weekend's fatal helicopter crash involving NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his teenage daughter Gianna, and seven others.
Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper, participating in his fourth Pro Bowl, caught a six-yard touchdown pass to offer up an NFC highlight. But the AFC won, 38-33, amid a Camping World Stadium that included a moment of silence for those dead, plus an assortment of on-field tributes to Bryant, including the etching of his jersey numbers on clears and the pantomiming of the late Los Angeles Lakers' icons moves.
There was speculation across the sports and entertainment worlds regarding cancellation of events. But as was the case with Sunday's NBA slate, the Pro Bowl went on, with five Cowboys - Cooper, running back Ezekiel Elliott, linebacker Jaylon Smith, tackle Tyron Smith and center Travis Frederick among the participants.
The three-time Pro Bowler Elliott totaled one carry for four yards and two receptions for 15 yards. Cooper, who patiently awaits a new contract from Dallas, had three catches for 24 yards. First-time Pro Bowler Jaylon Smith recorded 12 tackles against the AFC, which was led by game MVP Lamar Jackson, the Ravens QB who is also the favorite to win the NFL's MVP trophy.