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2023 NFL MVP watch: Cowboys’ Dak Prescott holds surprisingly sizable lead on a trio of contenders

We’re officially into the home stretch of the 2023 NFL season, which means it’s time once again to begin conducting our weekly MVP watch. This season’s race looks as wide open as ever, and that was reflected in our voting, where four different players received at least one first-place nod and three of them received at least two. 

Only two non-quarterbacks (one wide receiver and one running back) received votes from our panel, and in a change from the past few years, not a single defensive player received even a down-ballot vote. After tallying up the point totals, our leader was a bit of a surprise to me, and the gap between him and the next closest vote-getter was even more of one.

In case you need a reminder of how this works, here it is: Our panel of voters were each asked to submit their top five choices for MVP. To reflect the ranked-choice voting system now in place, a first-place vote was worth 5 points, a second-place vote worth 4, third-place worth 3, fourth-place worth 2, and fifth-place worth 1. The candidates were then ranked in order of their total voting points received. 

Without further ado, let’s get to the voting breakdown.

The panel of voters: Jared Dubin, Jeff Kerr, Jordan Dajani, Eric Kernish, Tyler Sullivan, Garrett Podell, Josh Edwards, John Breech, Bryan DeAdro, Cody Benjamin, Kevin Steimle, Brett Anderson, Shanna McCarriston

The full MVP leaderboard

1. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (50 points)

2. 49ers QB Brock Purdy (38)

3. Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill (33)

4. Eagles QB Jalen Hurts (28)

5. 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey (23) 

6. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (13)

7. Texans QB C.J. Stroud (8)

8. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (2)

Most first-place votes:

  • Dak Prescott (5 out of 13)
  • Brock Purdy (3)
  • Tyreek Hill, Jalen Hurts (2)
  • Lamar Jackson (1)

Most second-place votes:

  • Dak Prescott, Tyreek Hill, Jalen Hurts, Christian McCaffrey (3 out of 13)
  • C.J. Stroud (1)

Most total ballots: 

  • Dak Prescott, Brock Purdy (13 out of 13)
  • Tyreek Hill (11) 
  • Jalen Hurts (9)
  • Christian McCaffrey (8)
  • Lamar Jackson (6)
  • C.J. Stroud (4)
  • Patrick Mahomes (1)

Positional representation:

  • QB (6)
  • WR (1)
  • RB (1)

So who will actually win?

Purdy (+300) is the current betting favorite at Caesars Sportsbook, closely followed by Prescott (+325). The remainder of the top five consists entirely of quarterbacks, with Hurts (+400), Jackson (+600) and Mahomes (+750) rounding things out. But next up on the list is Tua Tagovailoa (+1000), who did not receive a single vote in our poll. Hill (+1100) is right behind his teammate, with McCaffrey (+1500), Stroud (+3000) and Josh Allen (+5000) completing the top 10.

Right now, it looks like the award might go to the quarterback of whichever team finishes with the top seed in the NFC. But with five games remaining on the schedule, a whole lot can change down the stretch.

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