Looking at the roster top to bottom, it is still one that will compete regardless of what people say. Those talk themselves into negativity so it hurts less when it happens.
Which player or coach will take home the hardware next season? I will pinpoint two players, and one coach who I think will walk away with a medal next season.
Dan Quinn. If anyone has followed my posts over the last few months, you know I trust Quinn. He is a huge reason the Cowboys' defense has become the best part of this football team. He took arguably one of the worst defenses from 2020 and made them top-level last year.
Quinn returning for next year was the best move they made all off-season. Quinn was a hot name after turning a franchise-record 473 points into a top-level defense. The Cowboys finished 19th in yards allowed per game, seventh in points, and led the NFL in takeaways with 34.
Dak Prescott. Prescott will be the best offensive player on the team next year. Fans can say all they want about him, but what would you like the Cowboys to do? Trade for Baker Mayfield like the Panthers did yesterday?
Prescott is a fringe top-10 quarterback in the league. Right now I would put him ninth, and you could go back and forth with a few guys for the last handful of spots.
Of course, he needs to prove more, I am not saying he doesn't. The narrative around it is so weird. People are putting Justin Herbert, who did not make the playoffs last season, and who Dallas beat ahead of him.
Prescott has to win in the playoffs. We all know this, but Dallas has won plenty of games with him, and he hasn't played terribly, and yet people still won't stop talking about him. This is a team sport… I can't stress this ENOUGH. The best quarterback in football and the back-to-back MVP has not won a Super Bowl since Mike McCarthy was his head coach. (Aaron Rodgers).
If anyone tries to make an argument that anyone other than Micah Parsons will take home the gold medal, I have no idea what to say.
Parsons is a transformational player. Parsons is special, Patrick Mahomes echoed the same message after the game last season. “He's a special player,” he said.
I have written plenty about Parsons and the bar he has set for himself. He made it even higher going into next season. He set his goal at 23 sacks but made it clear that anything less than 15 would be underachieving.
Last season, Parsons finished an unbelievable rookie campaign with 84 total tackles, 13 sacks, and three forced fumbles. Voted into the Pro Bowl, was named first-team All-Pro by the AP, and was the unanimous Defensive Rookie of the Year. He even gathered five votes for Defensive Player of the Year.
I think he has a chance to win the Defensive Player of the Year next season as long as he can keep the injury bug far far away.