The measure of success differs from organization to organization in professional sports. For the Dallas Cowboys, it always seems to be Super Bowl or bust. That was certainly the case in 2021, which made their early exit from the playoffs all the more disappointing. Despite that early exit though, finishing the regular season with a 12-5 record should probably fall into the success category.
Dwelling on the bad is a lot easier to do then focusing on the good a lot of times. Being a Debbie Downer is a poor way to go through life. Focusing more on positive things instead of the negative may be a little more difficult, but arguably more rewarding. As far as the Cowboys are concerned, there were a lot more positives than negatives in 2021 and that’s something we should all be grateful for.
With that in mind, let’s hand out some awards for the Dallas Cowboys.
MVP - Dak Prescott
Okay, let’s not kid ourselves. Love him or hate him, Dak Prescott is the Dallas Cowboys most valuable player. The success or failure of this team directly correlates with how well, or not, Prescott performs. There’s not another player on the entire roster who is more important to the organization then No. 4. It’s why he makes the big bucks and why he receives most the praise when things go right and blame when things go wrong.
Offensive Player of the Year - Zack Martin
Zack Martin is not only arguably the best player on the Cowboys roster, but also arguably the best offensive guard in the entire NFL. There’s a reason why he’s been a five-time First-Team All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler since being drafted by Dallas in the first round in 2014. The future Hall of Famer was the lone bright spot on the Cowboys offensive line in 2021 and should continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
Defensive Player of the Year - Micah Parsons
No surprises here. Micah Parsons was simply phenomenal as a rookie. The 12th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft showed off his talent and versatility playing both linebacker and defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys this year. He played so well in fact he’s the favorite to be NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and will probably finish second in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year behind T.J. Watt. He has a promising career ahead of himself.
Most Improved Player - Terence Steele
With starts at both right and left tackle in 2021, Terence Steele proved to be an invaluable piece to the Dallas Cowboys offensive line as their swing tackle this season. The work he put into the Cowboys strength and conditioning program in the offseason paid off in a big way for him. He pretty much completely transformed his body and his performance on the field reflected that. He played so well he could compete for starting job in 2022.
Coach of the Year - Dan Quinn
It’s looking more and more as if it’s going to be one and done with the Cowboys for Dan Quinn. There’s a reason he’s receiving so much attention right now from teams looking for their next head coach. The way he was able to come in and almost immediately transform the Cowboys defense from an abysmal unit to difference-making one was simply amazing. He was Dallas’ best offseason addition and will be really difficult to replace if he leaves.