(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 2023 season. Today, the staff writers continue the series with a question about QB1 and how he can reach elite status.)
2) Can changes put Dak into MVP conversation?
Kurt Daniels: Remember that Dak Prescott was in the MVP conversation early in the 2020 season before his campaign was cut short due to that brutal injury. And there's no reason to think he can't enter into the running again. The key may be what he has around him. Can the offensive line stay healthy? Will the young tight ends contribute? Is there a ground game? And most importantly, can he and Mike McCarthy get on the same wavelength? That might be a lot to ask, but if he gets some help, Prescott has shown the ability to put up MVP-caliber numbers.
Patrik Walker: Prescott could put himself back in the MVP conversation by simply cutting his interception tally from 2022 in half, and that's entirely possible when considering it was an aberration to begin with. Assuming he does, the addition of Brandin Cooks (and boy did that combo look good in minicamp) and Deuce Vaughn instantly make the offense more dangerous, along with a tight end room populated by three playmakers. Toss in CeeDee Lamb's dominance and if Michael Gallup is back to form, and we might all quickly be reminded that Prescott was in the MVP conversation only two short years ago.
Nick Eatman: This goes back to the No. 3 question about Micah winning DPOY. He's either got to play out of his mind and have statistics that are just off the chart – or the Cowboys have to be the best team in the league and have the No. 1 seed in the NFC. That seems more likely than Dak having incredible stats because that's just not his game usually. He can put up big numbers at times, but he'll also throw for 220 yards, two touchdowns in a decisive win. I think for Dak, the Cowboys have to be the best team in the NFC and he's got to be the main reason for that. Not out of the question. If they win, he'll have a chance.
Kyle Youmans: This is a loaded question. It's hard to argue that the level of quarterback play in the NFC has dropped off significantly and that Dak is one of the top talents in the conference. The addition of Brandin Cooks and a new play-caller in Mike McCarthy could certainly help the cause and limit his turnovers. Plus, he has shown at spurts throughout his career that he can play near an MVP level. Take 2021 prior to the bye week for example. Before suffering an injury in the final play of an overtime win against New England, Prescott was arguably the MVP front runner with 1,813 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions in the first six games. Not to mention, he completed over 73 percent of his passes and led the team to a 5-1 record over that span. Should he continue to play that level of football, but over the entirety of the 17-game season, he'd certainly have a shot.
Mickey Spagnola: To me, MVP is not all about being the best quarterback in the NFL, it's more about being the quarterback of the team with the highest amount of success. So, if the Cowboys advance at least to the NFC Championship game then the quarterback will get the most credit, which is usually the case. Remember, Dak was pretty dang good last year producing regular season points with this offense, despite the 15 interceptions, and he's right not all those picks being on him, because after going back to look at every one of his interceptions, at least seven of those were not solely on him. So, look at it this way, these changes in the offense and the acquisition of Brandin Cooks must improve receiver production, and in turn, that will improve Dak's performance.
Nick Harris: I'm fully expecting the offense to rely on the pass considerably more in 2023 with Mike McCarthy as the play-caller, which puts Dak in prime position to have the opportunities to make an MVP type of impact. When trying to answer this question, I keep thinking of the 2020 season and how dominant he was through the air before his season-ending injury. Most of the things that worked in his favor then also work in his favor now: two elite deep-threat receivers, an offensive system predicated around him and a youthful running back alongside him ready to also help carry the load. The ingredients are there, the recipe just needs to be put together by Chef Dak.