Prescott + Elliot are Leading America’s Team back to Prominence

America’s Team is back. The Dallas Cowboys are making a charge towards the playoffs that their fans [and the rest of the league] haven’t seen in 20 years. 

They’re sitting atop not only the NFC East but currently hold the best record in all of football. Yes, that’s right; the Cowboys (statistically speaking) are the best team in football. In a year when NFL viewership has at a surprising low, arguably the league’s most popular and recognizable team has finally surged to the top of the pack; and not a moment too soon.
I wrote an article a few weeks ago touting Matt Ryan as my MVP; and as the season continues to unfold, that pick doesn’t look as good as it once did. The more I’ve watched the Cowboys, the more I see the inevitable truth; the Cowboys have the two best players in the NFL [both rookies] who are the MVP frontrunners. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot have taken the NFL by storm and in a way that I don’t believe anyone forecasted. Even the most diehard Cowboys fans didn’t see this type of start for the franchise’s new dynamic duo.
The statistic’s that these two are putting up is just silly. Through 11 games Prescott’s stats are; 67.9 CMP%, 2,835 yards, 18 TD, 2 INT’s, with a 108.6 QBR; not to mention the fact that he overtook [an injured] Tony Romo as the starter, and has solidified himself as the best quarterback on the team. Elliot’s stats are; 243 ATT, 1,199 yards, 11TD’s which gives him [an absurd] 4.93 yards per rush; the Cowboys haven’t had a running-back that talented since the great Emmitt Smith. These are rookie’s mind you and they’ve continued to play like veterans; specifically showing up on the [biggest] primetime stage(s).
It’s extremely rare to have a season in which there are co-MVP’s; in fact it’s only happened twice (1997 – Brett Favre + Barry Sanders & 2003 – Peyton Manning + Steve McNair), and this year should be the third. What Prescott & Elliot have done is not only special but historic, and while it’s odd to make teammates co-MVP, there aren’t two players playing at higher level this season then these two. Furthermore, these two have not only taken the NFL by storm, but together, they’ve brought the Dallas Cowboys from irrelevance back to prominence.
Follow me on Twitter : @lavalleech

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NFL MVP is Matt Ryan’s to lose 

It’s finally happened. After 9 years of waiting and hoping that he’ll emerge as the “next” great quarterback in the NFL, Matt Ryan has finally come into his own. Following last night’s near flawless performance against the [division rival] Tampa Bay Buccaneers (344 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT & 144.7 QBR), Ryan has inserted himself as the top choice for league MVP.

Skeptical as many may be due to Ryan’s knack for starting out strong and crumbling down the stretch, this year feels very different. He’s already registered a 500 yard passing performance along with throwing at least 3 touchdowns in 5 out of the 9 games he’s started this season.

The Falcons record doesn’t exactly blow anyone away at 6-3; however, 2 of those 3 losses came at the hands of Atlanta’s defense who have become allergic to holding 4th quarter leads.

There are two other players of note that deserve to be at the top of the MVP discussion along with Ryan; the first being the golden boy himself, Tom Brady and the other is Oakland’s Derek Carr. Brady has arguably put forth the best four game stretch ever by a quarterback; 73.1 completion percentage, 12 TD, 0 INT & a 133.9 QBR. Carr has been very impressive himself; completing 66.3 percent of his passes and throwing 17 TD’s to only 3 INT’s. I’m not trying to take anything away from their exceptional performances so far this season; I just believe Ryan’s body of work has been more impressive. 

Now, Ryan doesn’t need to win MVP to make this a successful season; however, he does need to continue to perform at this high level as the season progresses. If his play begins to decline as the season winds down, as it did last year; his reputation is going to take a major hit and one that I don’t believe he’ll be able to recover from. He’ll be put in that “good” but “not great” category which is way beneath his skill/talent level. 

Ryan has always been in the conversation as one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league, but this could finally be the year that he reaches that elite level. He has talent, hell he’s always had the talent; know it’s just a matter of finishing what he’s started.
  
If you like what you’ve read, you can follow me on Twitter: @lavalleech