It should come as no surprise that Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is currently the clear betting favorite to win the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award for the 2021 season. After all, Prescott was tearing the league up through the air before he suffered that gruesome ankle injury in Week 5 against the New York Giants that sidelined him for the rest of that year. So long as he is able to get back to the level he was playing at prior to the injury, Prescott could be well on his way to earning some hardware. Don't take our word for it, however. Instead, let's follow the lead of someone who knows a thing or two about rebounding from a devastating injury.
Alex Smith -- the reigning NFL Comeback Player of the Year -- was recently asked about Prescott and his ability to bounce back from his ankle injury in time to help Dallas compete this season. Of course, Smith has his own impressive history to lean on as experience after returning to NFL action last year following a two-year hiatus in the aftermath of his horrific broken leg. While Prescott's injury wasn't as dire as Smith's, it's still a big mountain to climb to return to the top of. As Smith sees it, however, Prescott should have no problem reaching the summit.
"Dak is, I think, one of the most unique athletes in the NFL – and I really think that from like a freakish perspective," Smith told USA Today. "He is such a strong, powerful, such a good athlete. So I really expect him to come back and be rolling. Then you add that on to his fortitude and mental perspective? I think he's going to have a huge, huge year."
To this point, Prescott has seemingly hit every major checkpoint as he continues to return to top form. He even noted recently that he could suit up right now and play if the situation called for it, which is not only great news for his chances of winning the award, but Dallas putting itself in contention this season.
Through a full four games played last season, Prescott was putting himself in the MVP conversation. He was completing 68.1% of his throws for 422.5 yards per game to go along with nine passing touchdowns and three picks. Had he kept those ridiculous passing statistics up over a full 16-game schedule, Prescott was on pace for an eye-popping 6,760 yards through the air in 2020. Naturally, it was unrealistic to expect Prescott to keep on that trajectory and it's too tall of an ask to peg him to return to such gaudy numbers. If he even comes close, however, and Smith is right in his assumption that he'll be able to bounce back quickly, Prescott should have the award in the bag.