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Cowboys Have Strong Representation As Staff Writers Weigh In For NFL's Awards

IRVING, Texas - On the eve of Super Bowl XLIV, the league will dole out some awards for the best players and coaches from the 2014 season. The NFL Honors show, hosted by comedian Seth Meyers, will highlight the best of the best and there is a good chance the Cowboys will have some representation.

The show airs Saturday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. CT on NBC with the red-carpet coverage airing live on NFL Network at 7 p.m.

But before the officials awards are announced, the writers of offered up their picks on who should take home the hardware.

David Helman's Picks:

Most Valuable Player –Tony Romo, Dallas
Coach of the Year –Jason Garrett, Dallas
Offensive Player of the Year –DeMarco Murray, Dallas
Defensive Player of the Year –J.J. Watt, Houston
Offensive Rookie of the Year –Odell Beckham Jr., NYG
Defensive Rookie of the Year –Aaron Donald, St. Louis
Comeback Player of the Year –Rob Gronkowski, New England 

Helman's Analysis: I'm well-aware that Tony Romo isn't going to win the MVP, and I can't argue too much with Aaron Rodgers getting it. Hell, if the Texans had snuck into the playoffs, I would have voted for J.J. Watt. All of that said, I think Romo is the difference between the Cowboys netting 13 wins, as opposed to be about four. He led the league in passer rating and completion percentage and set an amazing standard for efficiency. His four-game stretch this past December was nothing short of amazing. I also don't think

Jason Garrett is going to win Coach of the Year, but he should, given he was standing on the precipice of job search and instead produced the Cowboys' best season in seven years. I'm confident DeMarco Murray is going to win Offensive Player of the Year, and he deserves it after putting together one of the best single seasons by a running back in the last 15 years.

J.J. Watt is a no-brainer, and honestly so is Odell Beckham. I know there are plenty of Cowboy faithful who would argue for Zack Martin, but that line is stocked with Pro Bowl talent. Beckham put together an absurd season in just 12 games – and on a bad team, to boot. Aaron Donald was fantastic for St. Louis. The Martin pick was obviously fantastic, but Donald's nine sacks for the Rams makes me wonder what Rod Marinelli could have done with him. I have to pick Gronkowski for Comeback Player of the Year, because with the litany of injuries he's had recently, there was some doubt if he'd ever be the same. He tore both his MCL and his ACL, and a year later he was the catalyst in driving the Patriots to a Super Bowl appearance. 

Bryan Broaddus' Picks:

Most Valuable Player –J.J. Watt, Houston
Coach of the Year –Jason Garrett, Dallas
Offensive Player of the Year –DeMarco Murray, Dallas
Defensive Player of the Year – Justin Houston, Kansas City
Offensive Rookie of the Year –Odell Beckham, Jr. New York Giants
Defensive Rookie of the Year –C.J. Mosely, Baltimore
Comeback Player of the Year –Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

Broaddus' Analysis: It is a shame that you have to go all the way back to 1986 before you can find a defensive player that won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award, so if I had a vote I would do something about that. To me this award is not about the player that leads a team to the playoffs or into the Super Bowl but who is truly the best player despite what his team's record might be. For this reason, I would select J.J. Watt for the award. Jason Garrett made me look foolish trying to fire him last season, so I will eat crow and he is my Coach of the Year. Words cannot describe the type of season that DeMarco Murray had overall and is very deserving of the Offensive Player of the Year. As good as J.J. Watt was on defense for the Texans – Justin Houston was just as special rushing the passer for the Chiefs.

As an alum of LSU, I am not surprised that Odell Beckham, Jr. had the type of season that he did, so that call was easy for me.  On the defensive side of the ball, Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome knew what he was doing when he drafted linebacker C.J. Mosley and plugged him in as a "Day One" starter. Mosely finished the season with 129 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions along with a trip to the Pro Bowl. My Comeback Player of the Year could have been split between two guys, Julio Jones and Aaron Rodgers so the fact that Rodgers was in the mix for the league MVP, I decided to give him this honor.

Nick Eatman's Picks:

Most Valuable Player –Tom Brady, New England
Coach of the Year –Jason Garrett, Dallas
Offensive Player of the Year –DeMarco Murray, Dallas
Defensive Player of the Year –J.J. Watt, Houston
Offensive Rookie of the Year –Odell Beckham Jr., NYG
Defensive Rookie of the Year –Khalil Mack, Oakland
Comeback Player of the Year –Tony Romo, Dallas

Eatman's Analysis: While I did lobby for Romo to at least get some votes for MVP and I recognize that Rodgers will likely win it, I think Brady might be even more valuable for his team. When I think of supporting cast, I would take Nelson, Cobb and Lacy over Gronkowski and whoever else the Patriots throw out there. That suggests to me that Brady does a little more with what he has than Rodgers or even Romo. Garrett might not win either but when I think about whose seat was hotter going into the season and to go out and post a 12-4 record, gets the very slight edge over Arians, who worked his magic in Arizona despite starting four quarterbacks. But we expected the Cards to win 10-12 games and most had the Cowboys winning 6-8.

DeMarco Murray and J.J. Watt are easy picks and while I wanted to go with Zack Martin, Beckham having 91 catches and 1,305 yards despite missing four games is unreal. Mack was close call over Mosley and Donald but I'll give the Comeback to Romo. Sure "Gronk" will win it and some don't even consider Romo to qualify because his injury happened so late. To me, that should make him even more deserving because he was still coming back when the season started. Yes, it's Cowboys heavy but that's ok. It's not like any team in the league had a better record. They deserve to be included in awards like this.


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