Tha Sports Junkies 101

TSJ101 Sideline Edition: Who Is The Cowboys’ 2016 MVP?

Who is the most valuable player for Dallas? SAM GREENE VIA FLICKR


Who Is The Most Valuable Player For The 2016 Dallas Cowboys?

There are a few realistic options to consider when deciding the most valuable player for the Dallas Cowboys this season. It comes down to three clear choices. The obvious two options would be the flashy rookies that have exploded onto the NFL scene by leading Dallas to a 9-1 record. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have quickly become football sensations at the NFL level.

They have each set different rookie records for the Cowboys and the NFL this season with their extraordinary play. However there is another option that most overlook when judging an MVP race. The Cowboys spent years building an offensive line and it’s finally paying off with all the pieces put together. The entire Dallas offensive line should be considered the MVP as well.

Dak Prescott has completed 214 passes out of 316 attempts. That’s a 67 completion percentage and is truly outstanding. He has 2,640 passing yards, 21 total touchdowns, and just two, that’s right, two interceptions through ten games as a rookie. Prescott has earned a 108 overall quarterback rating and for a rookie he can not have played any better for Dallas. Last season, the quarterback position was a disaster to say the least and Prescott has possibly supplied the Cowboys with a superb franchise player at the position.

What stands out most with Prescott is his awareness and the progression of each individual play. He hasn’t been forcing balls or causing mistakes that put Dallas in bad positions. He takes what the defense gives him and plays with intelligence. Protecting the football is one of the most important things for a quarterback to do, especially a rookie. He has given the Cowboys some much needed stability while Tony Romo has been hurt and he’s put them in position to claim the NFC’s number one seed. Dak Prescott can easily be the Cowboys’ most valuable player this season.

Ezekiel Elliott is proving to everyone why he selected at number four overall in the 2016 draft. Dallas had a vision on what they wanted to do this season and he’s done more than make that vision a reality for the Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliott is leading the league in rushing and just broke the Cowboys‘ all time rookie rushing record, once set by the great Tony Dorsett. Elliott has nearly 1,400 total yards and ten total touchdowns this season.

Elliott has provided the Cowboys with an electric spark of passion and energy. He meshes with the team perfectly and is every bit the player they believed they were getting. Elliott has the speed and power combination to make him effective in many ways. He was improved their passing game with his ability to catch in the back field and make plays. Elliott gives Prescott a reliable weapon that can draw the attention of a defense and is why Prescott has succeeded so much this season. Ezekiel Elliott could receive the most valuable player award as well with what he’s accomplished.

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When you look back on the Cowboys‘ success this season and the development of Prescott and Elliott, it all comes back to one constant. The Cowboys‘ offensive line has dominated all season long. Those big guys up front were assembled to do exactly what they are doing this year. They are paving the way for Elliott and Alfred Morris to find gaps and get past the first level of the defense. They are protecting Prescott and providing him with extra time to find his guys or extend plays for the offense. Without the elite play of the offensive line, this season would look completely different.

Look at Carson Wentz in Philadelphia; his numbers aren’t nearly as impressive as Prescott’s and the obvious difference is the protection. He’s not given the time progress through his reads and its showing in the Eagles‘ win column. The bottom line is that the offensive line in Dallas deserves some more appreciation. Tyron Smith, Travis Fredrick, Zack Martin, Ronald Leary, and Doug Free have helped establish  the focal point and identity of the Cowboys‘ offense.

Everything starts up front and without those guys, as great as Prescott and Elliott have played, their numbers wouldn’t be nearly as good. Yes, the quarterback and running position are more flashy and seem much more important. However, when a line can as dominant as the Cowboys‘ line, it sets the tone for the offense. Physicality becomes a major key in how games are played and won. The Cowboys‘ offensive line deserves the 2016 most valuable player vote. I know that it’s five people, but they are one unit and play together. They are the most valuable part of this Dallas team.