Tonight’s 2018 NFL Honors will recognize the top performers from the 2017 season. Is there anything Dallas Cowboys fans could hope for from their favorite players?
Unfortunately, the Cowboys’ disappointing season left little opportunity for individuals to be honored. None of our guys are even sniffing at the Most Valuable Player or Offensive Player of the Year awards, or either of the rookie awards.
However, there is an outside chance that a few Dallas players could have their names called in a couple of areas.
Defensive Player of the Year…. DeMarcus Lawrence?
One of the league’s best defensive linemen this year, DeMarcus Lawrence was tied for second place in the NFL with 14.5 sacks. He was also outstanding against the run.
Sadly, Arizona’s Chandler Jones had him beat with 17 sacks in 2017. And the man tied with Lawrence, Jacksonville’s Calais Campbell, did so at 31 years old and with a team that got to the AFC Championship Game.
As good as DeMarcus’ season was, he has a tough case against either of those fellow linemen. There were also outstanding linebackers and defensive backs who are in contention for the award.
While we’d love to see a Cowboy on that award stage tonight, maybe it’s ultimately better for us if Lawrence doesn’t win. Having already gone to the Pro Bowl this year, DeMarcus may be the most coveted defensive free agent this offseason. The DPOY award would only increase his bargaining power.
Comeback Player of the Year… Jaylon Smith?
This is a long shot, but few players had a more talked-about return to the field than the second-year linebacker. Jaylon Smith’s awful college knee injury dropped him from being a potential top-five draft pick. He was on everyone’s radar, and his missed rookie season led to lots of question marks about his football future.
Many have said that Smith just being able to play last year was incredible. It was a testament to the work the young man put into his recovery. No, the play wasn’t always good. This was basically a rookie after all, and one who’d been off the field for over a year. But Jaylon’s return to the field was an incredible story, and one that more than just Cowboys Nation were aware of.
The award will likely go to someone who had a more outstanding season in terms of performance, but don’t think Jaylon’s comeback wasn’t considered.