18) Cowboys' Best Shot For A Major NFL Award?


(Editor's Note: Over the next month, the staff of DallasCowboys.com is looking to answer the 20 biggest questions facing the team heading into the 2022 season. Today, the staff writers discuss award candidates on the Cowboys roster.)

FRISCO, Texas – Collectively, the Cowboys always have one goal: to win franchise's next Lombardi Trophy. But as we saw last season, great individual performances boost the team's chances of getting there.

With that in mind, which player has the best chance to hear their name called during the "NFL Honors" primetime award special the week of the Super Bowl? The staff writers debate our latest "20 Questions" entry.

18) Cowboys' Best Shot For A Major NFL Award?

Rob Phillips: Micah Parsons. He finished second in the voting for NFL Defensive Player of the Year as a rookie and deserves to be among the favorites again. It's common practice to say that opponents will key on him more this year. So, that wasn't the case after like Week 2 against the Chargers last year? Parsons might not lead the league in sacks like T.J. Watt did, but his versatility is unique, and he might just be scratching the surface as a pass rusher after what he accomplished on short notice last year when DeMarcus Lawrence got hurt.

Kyle Youmans: The way he's been talking this offseason, it would be hard to argue against Micah Parsons as a potential for Defensive Player of the Year. His 13 sacks as a rookie put himself of the radar of the league and earned the respect of a nation for his electrifying play. His quotes this offseason of aiming for 20 sacks has every one on notice. If he were to replicate his 2021 production, even without a true statistical step up, he'd still be in the conversation. But I believe he'll take that next step and be firmly in the front running.

Mickey Spagnola: How about going a little bit out on a limb here since the logical answer would be Micah Parsons for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. To me, this would be major, Dak Prescott earning Pro Bowl honors in a quarterback-talented NFC Conference. Don't forget, Prescott earned his first Pro Bowl as a rookie and ended up turning down a Pro Bowl injury replacement invitation this past season. And he accomplished that after playing just six games in 2020, spending the entire offseason recovering from surgery to that serious ankle injury, then the shoulder ailment cutting into his camp time, along with the strained calf during the season. Despite all that, Dak finished with the NFL's third-highest QB rating (104.2), behind just Aaron Rodgers and Joe Burrow. With a full offseason this time around, and more than a year removed from his gruesome injury, watch out for Dak, who had 37 TDs and just 10 interceptions last year, registering a career-high 68.8 completion percentage.

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