FRISCO - Different gambling outlets have different thoughts on the exact numbers. But most seem to agree: The smart bet to win the 2021 NFL Comeback of the Player, as released at DraftKings Sportsbook, is Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
It's a smart bet for a couple of reasons, one of which how complete his physical comeback truly is. “I’m healthy,” Prescott said over the weekend. “If we had to play a game now, I could go out there and be very successful. Start the game, finish the game and not even worry about the leg.”
READ MORE: 'I'm Pretty Much Full-Go' - Dak
Another reason Prescott sits atop the betting odds as the clear favorite at odds of +175? He is not only a centerpiece player - he's also a centerpiece player for a team that most oddsmakers think will rebound from last year's dismal 6-10 season and will be back in contention in the NFC East.
"Absolutely,'' said COO Stephen Jones when asked if he believes this offseason's signing of Prescott to a four-year, $160 million deal catapults Dallas to the top of the divisional heap, Dak quickly adding that he envisions a "Super Bowl parade'' in DFW.
Prescott's track record is reason enough to believe that he will be up and over the likes of the Giants' Saquon Barkley and others. Prescott was on his way to a stellar prior to sustaining that gruesome ankle injury in Week 5; he'd put up 1,856 passing yards and 12 total touchdowns in fewer than five games before going down.
And his assemblage of talent matters, too. Dallas' pass-catching trio of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup might be the NFL's best, he has a two-time NFL rushing champ in Ezekiel Elliott, and he has, by the time we get to training camp, a healthy O-line.
But there is one more factor, as pointed out by Frankie Taddio here:
"Over the last 19 years, the NFL CPOY Award has been awarded to quarterbacks an overwhelming 13 times.''
Indeed, last season, Washington quarterback Alex Smith won the award following his heroic comeback season, and from 2008 through 2013, the award was all about quarterbacks.
But what about Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and Joe Mixon? Writs Taddio:
"All bettors should take a strong pause on any wagers involving running backs in this betting market. ... You need to go back 20 seasons to find the last running back to garner Comeback Player of the Year honors, with Garrison Hearst taking home the award in 2001.''