The NFL’s latest “Game of the Year” currently has the look of a fight for the NFC’s silver medal.
“On paper it is, right?” former New England Patriots defensive back and current NFL on NBC analyst Devin McCourty said Friday in a phone interview.
Having defeated both the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles by the combined score of 84-19, the San Francisco 49ers are both your NFC East and NFC champs’ until the postseason.
“Football isn’t played that way,” McCourty said, “just because (the 49ers) stomped both teams doesn’t mean that if they played again it will go the same way.”
Since the postseason is still more than one month away, the Cowboys and Eagles will proceed with the hope that they can redeem themselves against the 49ers in the playoffs.
On Sunday night, the Cowboys host the Eagles for first place in the division, and the only element this game really lacks is the presence of a certain feline-friendly pop star in the stands.
Why Cowboys tight ends Jake Ferguson, Peyton Hendershot or Luke Schoonmaker didn’t ask out Taylor Swift before Kansas City’s Travis Kelce is something that Jerry Jones should bemoan every single morning. Think of the number of Swift-Hendershot jerseys that could have been sold.
Even without Taylor Swift in the suite, Eagles at Cowboys has heft, on what is fast becoming the Dak Prescott Meet My Middle Finger Eras Tour.
According to Vegas’ oddsmakers, Dak Prescott is the current leader, or is second, to win the 2023 NFL MVP award.
For you Cowboys’ historians, the last player from the Cowboys to win the NFL MVP award was running back Emmitt Smith, in 1993.
How Dak Prescott can win the NFL MVP
Before the season began the primary concern for Dak was not throwing an interception every single game.
Dak currently ranks fifth in the NFL in passing yards, third in completion percentage, first in touchdown passes, and his six interceptions ranks near the bottom of starting quarterbacks.
He’s the quarterback for one of the better teams in the league; combine those stats, and the team’s overall record, and that quarterback is normally near the top of MVP voting.
“The last time I played him he came out and threw for 445 yards against us,” said McCourty, who played for New England when the Cowboys defeated the Patriots in Week 6 of the 2021 season. “It’s about the consistency he’s playing with. Week in and week out, no matter what the defense does, he has the answer.
“They have come out throwing it and it’s opened up that offense. It started with Dak taking control and I have been so impressed.”
The Cowboys have the best offense in the NFL because of Dak; their running game ranks 11th in the league, meaning this a QB-centric offense.
With remaining games against the Eagles, Bill, Dolphins, Lions and Commanders, if Dak and the Cowboys maintain their current pace and production he should be the MVP.
This version of “IF” stands about the height and width of the Jumbotron at AT&T Stadium.
— Dak Prescott (@dak) December 8, 2023
How Dak Prescott can blow the NFL MVP
McCourty is of a mind Dak, nor any other quarterback, should be the front runner for this trophy anyways.
“For me it’s (Dolphins wide receiver) Tyreek Hill,” McCourty said.
Hill currently leads the NFL with 1,481 yards and 12 touchdowns. Hill could potentially break former Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson’s NFL single season record for receiving yards, 1,964 yards set in 2012.
“I played defensive back, and when you have one guy who can catch the ball at a historic rate you double team him,” McCourty said. “For some reason, no one has been about to do that. If eclipses that record, he should win (the NFL MVP).”
Not a terrible idea; no team has been able to cover Hill at all this season. He has eight games this season with at least 100 receiving yards, and the Dolphins are 9-3.
The Cowboys will see Hill and the Fish on Christmas Eve in Miami.
How Dak plays in that game, and these others, will determine if he will this award. If the Cowboys flop in these final five games, it will mean has Dak flopped, too.
Right now, the NFL MVP award is his award to lose.
Considering how his NFL career has evolved, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see him win it.
Considering how his NFL career has evolved, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see him lose it, either.