Watching the pro bowl was fun and revealing. It was basically a game of tag football and every bit as entertaining as the regular violent version of the game.
Many say that w/o the violence that people wouldn't watch. If violence sells so well, then why is boxing nowhere close to being the number one watched sport? I think people watch football for the athleticism, visual beauty, and unpredictability. Taking away powerful hits seems to not change the game at all.
The fake "violence sells" belief is killing the sport. People are backing out due to concussion fears, little league teams are collapsing, high school participation is plummeting, TV rating and fan attendance is crashing.
A less violent version of the sport is easy to install. Just let the linemen play as usual and reduce the play of the skill players to tag (per an official's whistle). The worst hits are the ones that happen to the skill players anyway.
Those that do not evolve, die off.