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NFL MVP Predictions – Don’t Bet on Dak Prescott in 2020
The Dallas Cowboys are the talk of the NFL during the offseason. They appeared to have crushed the draft when they nabbed one of the best 2020 NFL Draft steals in CeeDee Lamb, and they also held onto their star talent.
Well, on offense, at least.
Lamb joins what figures to be a stacked offense — one in which star quarterback Dak Prescott could potentially put up even better numbers than he did a year ago.
Of course, there’s always downside to knee-jerk optimism. Concerning Prescott in particular, all of these big moves for the offensive side have raised expectations.
Suddenly, Prescott has +1400 odds to win the 2020 NFL MVP, and everyone is hyping up the Cowboys as Super Bowl favorites. The latter probably can’t come without the former and vice versa, but is Dak Prescott really a great bet to win league MVP?
I don’t tend to think so, and here are 3 reasons why Dak Prescott won’t win the 2020 NFL MVP.
Dak’s Numbers Were Inflated in 2019
Make no mistake about it, Dak Prescott had an awesome 2019 season from a statistical perspective. His 4,902 passing yards and 30 passing touchdowns were by far career highs, and he made Dallas fun to watch at times.
Turning Prescott into a gunslinger didn’t lead to a lot of team success, of course. Dallas went just 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
Prescott’s elite production also didn’t come against winning teams all that much. Against the Saints, Patriots, and Bears — all good to great defenses — Dak combined for one touchdown, two interceptions, and an 0-3 record.
His big numbers can’t be trusted, either. Of Prescott’s 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns, a remarkable 1,234 yards (25%) and 14 touchdowns (46%) came against bad Giants and Redskins teams.
I’m not saying Prescott shouldn’t be proud of his 2019 numbers, but to suggest they are misleading is a bit of an understatement.
Besting a Career Year Isn’t Easy
Whether you choose to label Dak’s 2019 as fraudulent or not is up to you. It was inflated, but it also will be very difficult to match or surpass.
The way everyone is talking about Dallas these days, you’d think Prescott is a lock for 5,000+ passing yards and 30+ touchdowns again.
It feels weird to bank on that, though. Not only was 2019 the first time Prescott ever topped even 3,885 passing yards or 23 touchdowns through the air, but putting up elite production like that in consecutive seasons just isn’t easy.
Short of Drew Brees putting up close to 5,000 passing yards nearly every year in his prime, putting up crazy yardage like Dak delivered in 2019 just isn’t easy to do.
It’s not every year you crush your career touchdown average, either.
Just look at Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning in the years when they threw 49+ touchdowns.
The year after breaking the NFL record for single-season passing touchdowns with 50, Brady dropped to 24. Manning went from 49 to 28 and later dropped from 55 to 39. Mahomes went from 50 in 2018 to 26 last year, too.
Obviously, some type of drop-off from insane seasons is to be expected, but when considering Dak’s average production, the same kind of thing could happen with him in 2020.
A Bad Defense Creates More Pressure
One of the biggest reasons Dak Prescott won’t win the 2020 NFL MVP is because his defense may very well end up being total garbage.
The Cowboys lost star cover man Byron Jones, and they still have issues at safety. They also don’t have a whole lot beyond DeMarcus Lawrence in their pass rush (ranked 19th in 2019), and star linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is returning from a scary neck injury.
Dallas could be in shambles defensively, which could potentially do two things (perhaps both). It could put a lot of unwanted pressure on this offense to perform and/or it could hand the team losses even if Prescott and company thrive.
Will Dak Prescott Win the 2020 NFL MVP Award?
Putting up elite stats is one thing; being expected to do it is another. Prescott is being tasked with besting the greatest NFL season he’s ever known, while ingesting a new coaching staff, new weapons, and a new offense.
He also has to do this while trying to figure out his contract situation, with Andy Dalton breathing down his neck and a porous Dallas defense looking to take out his legs at every turn.
If Prescott overcomes all of this, shreds the NFL, and leads the Cowboys back to the playoffs, he’d absolutely deserve a shot at winning the NFL MVP. Unfortunately, that’s all precisely what he has to do to even have a chance.
Whether you bet on Dak this year or not, make sure you at least choose the best NFL sportsbooks to wager at in 2020.
And for more pro football content, check out our NFL blog.