Skip to main content

Staff Picks: Can Frederick Get NFL Honors Votes? 


The NFL's ultimate trophy will be awarded on Sunday night in Miami. But there will be some individual awards to give out Saturday night.

A few current superstars will land some hardware at the annual NFL Honors Show.

Three years ago, the Cowboys racked up some awards as Dak Prescott won Offensive Rookie of the Year. This season, the only Cowboys player with a shot at an award would be Travis Frederick for the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year.

Still, the staff writers of decided to weigh in on seven of the top awards. It's not a prediction of what will happen, but more of an opinion if they had say in the process.

See if you agree with their selections:

Table inside Article
Award Nick Eatman Rob Phillips David Helman Jonny Auping
MVP Russell Wilson Lamar Jackson Lamar Jackson Lamar Jackson
OPOY Michael Thomas Lamar Jackson Christian McCaffrey Michael Thomas
DPOY Stephon Gilmore Stephon Gilmore Stephon Gilmore Za'Darius Smith
OROY Josh Jacobs Kyler Murray Kyler Murray Miles Sanders
DROY Nick Bosa Nick Bosa Nick Bosa Nick Bosa
Comeback Player Jimmy Garoppolo Travis Frederick Travis Frederick Sean McDermott
Coach of the Year John Harbaugh Kyle Shanahan Kyle Shanahan Earl Thomas

Nick Eatman: I just wonder what the Seahawks would be without Russell Wilson. They don't have gamebreakers around him and yet they're always in the game and with a chance to win. I think he has the most value to his team. You can't argue with what Michael Thomas did this year, his numbers are off the chart. I know that leaves out Lamar Jackson, but I have to go with Russ and Thomas. Gilmore shut down Amari Cooper in a game this year and did it just about with every other receiver as well. I hate not picking Travis, because we all saw firsthand what he was dealing with. For him to come back to the Pro Bowl was outstanding, but that was the level he's been on. For Jimmy G to come back and then lead his team to a Super Bowl gave him the edge in my book. And if the Ravens have that many guys headed to the Pro Bowl, then someone had to be doing a great job coaching them. I went with Harbaugh over Shanahan.  

Jonny Auping: Miles Sanders set a standard his rookie season that suggests he'll be a focal point in the NFC East for a handful of years to come. He had 1,641 all-purpose yards, which led all rookies and his 5.8 yards per touch was third among all running backs in the NFL. Meanwhile, Sean McDermott took a team that was predicted to win five games to the playoffs with a dominant defense and an offense that avoided first half mistakes. In Buffalo, McDermott was able to do something that Cowboy fans are hoping Mike McCarthy can accomplish in Dallas: He established a clear identity for his team with a roster full of players confident they could handle adversity. 

David Helman:Don't overthink the MVP pick. Lamar Jackson was the league's sixth-best rusher in addition to being one of its most efficient passers. I don't care if he went one-and-done in the playoffs, he's the MVP. My defensive picks are obvious. Stephon Gilmore is easily the league's best corner. If you don't believe me, go watch the tape of him against Amari Cooper. Nick Bosa had nine sacks and three takeaways as a rookie — for a team that's playing in the Super Bowl. I'm going a little more under the radar on offense. Christian McCaffrey was stuck on a 5-11 team and still managed to finish with 1,387 rushing yards and 1,005 receiving yards. He scored more touchdowns than Zeke Elliott, and he did it without his starting quarterback. I know he was the No. 1 overall pick, but it doesn't seem like Kyler Murray is getting any shine for putting together a really nice season for a really bad team. He deserves some credit. I don't care if I'm biased, but Travis Frederick is an easy choice for Comeback Player of the Year. All the other contenders were battling back from athletic injuries. Travis battled back from an autoimmune disease that threatened his quality of life, and he managed to play at a Pro Bowl level on top of that. I don't think he'll actually win, but he should. I don't want to be a prisoner of the moment, but it's hard not to be impressed with Kyle Shanahan. From his play calling to the way he designed San Francisco's offense and helped shape their culture. He's incredibly impressive and has his team in the Super Bowl just three years after it was the worst team in the league..

Rob Phillips: I want to start with Travis Frederick. What he went through in 2018 – a successful but arduous battle against Guillain-Barre syndrome – was far beyond a normal football injury. So much respect for what he was able to do this past season, returning with 16 starts at center and a fifth Pro Bowl selection. Now, on to the rest of the awards. If you're good enough to be the MVP of the National Football League, you're good enough to win Offensive Player of the Year honors, too. That's why Baltimore's Lamar Jackson deserves both. Over 3,000 passing yards, over 1,200 rushing yards, 36 passing touchdowns to only 6 interceptions, and his team was the top seed in the AFC? No-brainer. We saw Stephon Gilmore pick off Dak Prescott in the Pats' win at Foxboro in November, and he was the best player on the best defense this season. Kyler Murray had a solid year for Arizona playing the toughest position in the game. Nick Bosa has been a catalyst for San Francisco's defense and a big reason why they're in the Super Bowl. Kyle Shanahan led the 49ers to a 9-win turnaround this year.