NFL

Dak Prescott Is an MVP Dark Horse That People Should Take Seriously

This has been a great year for quarterbacks in the MVP discussion. Russell Wilson is showing a killer instinct, Aaron Rodgers is having one of his best years ever, and Lamar Jackson is proving that a running quarterback has a place in the modern NFL. Lost in the shuffle, however, is Dak Prescott.

He is having one of the best seasons not only of his career but of anybody’s career in NFL history. Although the Cowboys’ 6-5 record will likely disqualify Prescott from many MVP discussions, fans can’t ignore the quarterback’s historic season.

How good is Dake Prescott?

FiveThirtyEight did a statistical breakdown of Prescott’s great year and highlighted the fact that while many believed his success was dependent on superstar running back Ezekiel Elliott, Prescott is doing plenty to further his legacy.

He is making the most of every throw this year, getting 8.82 yards per attempt. Should this stand, it would be the most by a Cowboys quarterback and the 19th-most in the post-merger era. 

The Cowboys are having one of the best passing seasons as a team, as well, trailing only Peyton Manning’s 2010 Colts in that regard. The team’s passing play success rate only trails the 2007 New England Patriots, a team that swept the regular season and broke records left and right. Prescott is a major piece of this success. 

FiveThirtyEight posits that the team could be trying too hard to run plays through Elliott as a means to justify his massive contract. But with historic numbers looking at them they shouldn’t stray too far from Prescott’s arm. He is currently first in total passing yards through Week 11 and seventh in NFL history. 

Why can’t the Cowboys win?

A good offense runs through several players, and the Cowboys may be failing both Elliott and Prescott by not utilizing them to more success on the scoreboard.

Oddly enough, the Cowboys have the sixth-best offense and the sixth-best defense, so one might expect the team to have more wins than they currently do. A look at the schedule, however, explains what is happening. 

The Cowboys are mostly beating teams they should be beating. The New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, and Detroit Lions are all bad-to-mediocre teams.

However, many of the teams the Cowboys have lost to — the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and New England Patriots — are among the league’s best. The New York Jets are the only team that has beaten the Cowboys and also has a worse record. 

This helps explain Prescott’s lack of success regarding wins and losses, but it doesn’t diminish what he’s doing either. However, Prescott does need to learn how to beat the league’s best if he wants to be among the finalists for the MVP award.

In a fair world, Prescott may have a chance to be MVP based on his individual merits, but voters have shown they value winning, and if the Cowboys can’t win most of their games, all of which are winnable, he may not be a candidate at the end. 

What is Dak Prescott’s future?

Lost in all of this is the uncertain situation that Prescott is in contract-wise. While Jerry Jones shows he’s willing to play hardball with the team’s best players come contract negotiations, they might be playing with fire if they don’t get Prescott signed soon.

He is showing star potential at the most important position in sports, yet if Jones gets stingy, Prescotts’ best years could be for another team. 

There’s rarely one right answer when it comes to MVP candidates, and counting wins and losses, Prescott has a hard case. This should not make fans neglect how well he’s run the Cowboys’ offense this year. As he grows even better, he might get that MVP trophy, after all.