Dallas Cowboys fans are accustomed to hearing about the team’s Super Bowl drought, but there’s another dubious streak the team has.
The franchise hasn’t had an NFL MVP since 1993, when running back Emmitt Smith took home the honors.
One would think that Cowboys players have a natural leg up on the competition for major awards considering how much they are featured in primetime slots.
But since the glory days of the franchise in the early 1990’s, the highest individual league honor has eluded Dallas.
As we head into OTAs and training camp later this summer, hope springs eternal that this will finally be the year someone from “America’s Team” brings home the NFL MVP.
Which two Cowboys players are the most likely to win the award in the 2021 season?
There are a few things a player needs in order to be in contention for an NFL MVP award.
First, it helps to be a quarterback. Quarterbacks have secured the last eight MVP awards, and 13 out of the last 14.
Second, having a narrative to aid in drawing attention to the player and the season he’s having is also a big boost.
Other factors that play into a candidate’s body of work are team success, and what type of statistics the player is putting together.
Assuming that he can come back healthy from his ankle injury, Cowboys signal-caller Dak Prescott checks all the boxes from the above criteria.
Prescott’s Cowboys also play in the one of the least heralded divisions in the league in the NFC East, and should be able to contend for a top seed in the NFC.
Last but not least, Prescott’s statistics should be second to none with the weapons he has on the outside.
In the four full games he played last season, he averaged 422 yards passing.
If Prescott can throw for around 40 touchdowns, he has a good chance of being considered a frontrunner for MVP.
Felt good to put up 4 touchdowns for Cowboys Nation, but it felt even better knowing that means @Pepsi is donating 400 meals to the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and Tarrant County #PepsiCauseForCelebration #ad https://t.co/F7C1ZUJAIV
— Dak Prescott (@dak) September 9, 2019
It’s usually extremely beneficial for talented offensive players to line up with other threats on offense.
It gives the defense more than one aspect to worry about, and can allow players to accumulate production while attention is being paid elsewhere.
This could help tilt the scales in the favor of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.
If everything up front is blocked even adequately, Elliott should be able to consistently gain 4-5 yards per tote.
There’s another element working in Elliott’s favor to win an MVP.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) May 10, 2021
Dallas made a concerted effort this offseason to help solidify their defense.
They spent the first six picks of their draft on defensive players, in hopes that it’ll be a much improved unit.
If the Cowboys defense can even be semi-respectable in 2021, Dallas should be able to hold leads longer than they did last year, which means more carries for Elliott trying to chew up the clock.
It’s not inconceivable that he runs wild this season, and reminds fans that he’s one of the best backfield options in the NFL.