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Filed under: names Dak Prescott a ‘dark horse’ for league MVP

With some new weapons and a new play-caller, Dak Prescott is being touted to have a big 2023 season.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

There seems to be a never-ending split among fans if Dak Prescott is fit to lead the Dallas Cowboys back to the Super Bowl. For him to do that, he’ll probably need to be playing at an MVP level. It might not be as far-fetched an idea as you think, especially for this season.

In a recent article from, Adam Schein puts Prescott at the top of “dark horse” candidates who could win Most Valuable Player by the end of the 2023 season.

1. Dak Prescott (MVP Odds +2500)

Mike McCarthy knows what an MVP quarterback looks like, having worked with Joe Montana, Rich Gannon, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers over the course of his coaching career. And with the Cowboys’ head man taking the play-calling reins, I think Prescott is in line for his finest season yet. In McCarthy’s 12 years as Green Bay’s play-caller, the Packers finished as a top-five scoring offense seven times. The man knows what he’s doing with a playbook.

Another positive development for Dak: Trade acquisition Brandin Cooks giving Dallas a much-needed boost in the receiving corps. The Cowboys’ severely lacked a secondary WR threat last season to complement Pro Bowler CeeDee Lamb. Now they have a certified field stretcher with six 1,000-yard seasons under his belt. Having yet to turn 30 years old, Cooks should have plenty left in the tank. Add in the fact that former 1,000-yard wideout Michael Gallup is now a full season removed from his ACL tear, and Dallas could be cooking with gas at the position.

With McCarthy at the controls and better options out wide, Dak won’t come anywhere close to last season’s league-high 15 interceptions. I think he sizzles all year long. Supported by a ferocious, Micah Parson-led defense, Prescott should have the 2023 Cowboys squarely in the Super Bowl conversation. And if you’re the reason why “America’s Team” is a top-notch title contender, well, you’re a top-notch MVP candidate.

Schein goes with the approach of leaning on Mike McCarthy’s history in the NFL, leading to Prescott’s success. Honestly, it’s hard to argue against his logic. McCarthy is one of the most experienced coaches in the league and has worked with some of the game’s best signal callers—Montana, Rodgers, and Favre.

While Prescott still has a lot left to accomplish to be in the same conversation as those three, a Super Bowl victory and an MVP trophy will undoubtedly go a long way in closing the gap.

Comparing No. 4 to the other candidates on the list, Derek Carr, Tua Tagovailoa, Deshaun Watson, and Matthew Stafford, none had a 1,000-yard receiver added to their arsenal this offseason. The newest Cowboy, Brandin Cooks, will help the offense create more separation and hold the younger players around Prescott to a higher standard.

Dallas’ quarterback has won Offensive Rookie of the Year, Walter Payton Man of the Year, and is one of the most recognizable players in the NFL, being the leader of America’s Team. Limiting his interception totals from 2022 will immediately change the public perception and switch the conversation toward MVP consideration.

Putting the San Francisco playoff loss aside, Prescott played out of his mind against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a 75 completion percentage, threw for 305 yards, four touchdowns, and rushed for one touchdown. If he can channel that style of play for the entirety of 2023, there’s no question he’ll be considered among the best—an MVP.

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