The NFL has had a lot of interesting comeback stories over the years and 2021 has already proved to be no exception. The biggest one however seems to be the debate about whether Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys or Josh Allen of the Jacksonville Jaguars have had a better comeback story this year.
To answer this question though, we are going to have to go back to last season where both players suffered their injuries. For Prescott, it was week five against the New York Giants when he suffered a season ending ankle injury. As for Josh Allen, he went down with a knee injury after a play against Pittsburgh, which eventually resulted in his season being over too.
Fast forward to 2021 and Dak Prescott was handed an opening season loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but stayed competitive. Keep in mind this was against Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champions. Prescott went 42 of 68 for 403 yards three touchdowns and one interception in his season debut.
Going back to Allen, he had a more modest return to the field in week one against the Buffalo Bills. In fact, he accounted for five tackles during the game and one sack in a 37-21 loss to the Houston Texans. Despite that though, he did prove to be a solid addition to the defense and that he can get to the QB when needed.
Week two was an off week for both men. That started with Prescott, who went 23 of 27 for 237 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. They ended up winning the game though in a biz 20-17 struggle against the Chargers. Then there was Allen, who had three tackles and one sack in a 23-13 loss to the Denver Broncos in what was their second straight loss of the season.
And that’s where Prescott kind of takes the lead here. Sure, there is an argument to be made that Dallas is a much better team, but this is focused on the player only. With that being said, the performances just don’t compare well, and Allen came up short in week three. He also came up short in week four, making it not worth much analysis.
Week 5 is where things got competitive again. While Dak Prescott connected on 22 of 32 pass for 302 yards three touchdowns and one interception, Josh Allen would have seven total tackles, five solo tackles, two assisted tackles and half a sack. Of course, the Cowboys would notch another win and the Jaguars would be handed another loss, but the performances were at least competitive.
Fast Forward to week six and this is where the case for Josh Allen being comeback player of the year really begins. It started with the Jaguars first win of the season against the Miami Dolphins. Allen recorded seven total tackles, four solo tackles and three assisted tackles. He also earned a stuff for stopping the run up the middle.
Prescott would record a pretty good game too, going 36 of 51 for 445 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Despite the interception, Prescott would help his team to victory in a 35-19 overtime win against the New England Patriots. Again the point has to go to Prescott for not only winning the game, but also leading the winning drive. At the very least it neutralizes Allen’s performance.
Week seven would also prove to be intriguing after Prescott helped the Cowboys to their second loss of the season after having garbage numbers all night long. When all was said and done, Prescott came out with 19 of 39 completions, for 232 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a 30-16 loss against the Broncos.
Josh Allen, however, finished his game against the Seattle Seahawks with six total tackles, five solo tackles and 1 assisted tackle. He also sacked the QB twice and stuffed runs up the middle twice. The Jaguars did win again, but this is probably one of the only other times that Allen has shined alone all season.
Finally, there is week eight, where the verdict is almost impossible to render. On one hand, Prescott led the Cowboys to a 43-3 victory over the Atlanta Falcons and had some impressive numbers in doing so. For example, he went 24 of 31 for 296 yards two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Josh Allen also went on a tear, racking up 8 solo tackles, one sack and one stuff in a 9-6 victory over the Buffalo Bills This is arguably one of the only times that Allen has had this kind of impact though, which is why it’s hard to measure it against Prescott’s continued success. Therefore, it’s impossible to render any other verdict than that Dak Prescott is the comeback player of the year.
Allen is truly a special story and a person that is helping to improve a team from the ground up. Furthermore, he came back from an injury that could have easily ended his career and continued to have good games. The problem though is that he isn’t doing as well as Prescott has been this season.
For example, Prescott has a season competition average of 70.3 and an impressive 20 touchdowns to five interceptions. Keep in mind, these touchdowns and completion percentage has carried the Cowboys to many victories this year. They were key factors for the team to propel forward. Essentially, Dak has put the team’s offensive on his back and has them running at the top of the pack.
With that in mind, Allen has contributed to victories, just not as much as Prescott has. Lastly, more responsibility and spotlight has arguably been put on Prescott, especially with the Cowboys playoff drought, making the young Quarterback’s numbers very impressive. This is also what earns him comeback player of the year after his season ending injury last year.