In an unprecedentedly long NFL season, we're not even 40 percent of the way home. Most of us haven't donned Halloween costumes, much less pondered the impending Winter or post-NFL trophy time.
Nonetheless, the league's most prestigious and coveted award is already a two-horse race: Dak Prescott vs. Kyler Murray.
Granted, things do tend to change in the NFL. Injuries. Unforeseen slumps. Team failure. COVID. A speeding darkhorse's late push. But as of now, it's the speed and success of the Arizona Cardinals' Murray pitted against the accuracy and fortitude of the Cowboys' Prescott.
Who knows, maybe this race comes down to the teams' Jan. 2 meeting at AT&T Stadium. Until then, it's up to Murray to keep dazzling and winning, and Prescott to remain healthy and inspirational.
Entering Week 8, Murray is the leading MVP candidate with 3.5-1 odds, followed closely by Prescott at 4-1. The Bills' Josh Allen, Bucs' Tom Brady, Rams' Matthew Stafford, Packers' Aaron Rodgers, Ravens' Lamar Jackson and Titans' Derrick Henry round out the viable potential winners. Pre-season favorite Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs has seen his odds drop from 5-1 to 40-1.
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The 7-0 Cardinals are the story of the early season. Followed, not surprisingly, by the 5-1 Cowboys.
Both Murray and Prescott own precious intangibles. While the 5-foot-10 Murray attempts to become the shortest quarterback to win MVP and the shortest MVP since Barry Sanders (5-8) in 1997, Prescott is already a lock for Comeback Player of the Year after recovering from the gruesome season-ending leg injury in 2020 that required two surgeries.
The top two are also tight in most of the vital measurables.
Murray, who has played one more game than Prescott, has thrown for more yards (2,002-1,813), touchdowns (17-16) and interceptions (5-4). And his 73.5-percent completion percentage leads the league, just ahead of Prescott at 73.1 percent.
Despite their five Super Bowls, 20 Hall of Famers and storied legacy, the Cowboys only boast one NFL MVP - won by Emmitt Smith in 1993.