We're more than halfway through the 2016 NFL season, so it's time to take stock of who the most valuable players in the league are. This has been an MVP race unlike any in recent history, with rookies, suspended players, and stars of perennial bad teams leading the race. Let's look at who the leading candidates for NFL MVP are:

4. QB Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Prescott was meant to be the third-string quarterback when the NFL preseason started. Instead, Kellen Moore and Tony Romo were both hurt and Prescott was forced into the fire. Since then, he avoided making mistakes and guided the Cowboys to the best record in the NFL, earning his right to be in the MVP race and putting an end to the Tony Romo era in Dallas.

3. RB Ezekiel Elliot, Dallas Cowboys

The real MVP award should be given to another impressive Dallas Cowboys offensive line that has kept things stable and running smoothly for America's Team. That's never going to happen, though, so giving it to Elliot is the next best option. The candidate leads the NFL in rushing despite being a rookie and is on pace to break Eric Dickerson's rookie rushing record. The domestic violence cloud still hangs over him, though.

2. QB Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

He's not the leader in any statistical category, but he's the big reason why the Oakland Raiders are going to make the NFL playoffs for the first time in over a decade. The Raiders finally have their franchise quarterback.

He has struggled in the second half of previous seasons, though, so the next stretch will make or break his MVP candidacy.

1. QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots

It's going to be extremely awkward when commissioner Roger Goodell has to hand the MVP trophy to the quarterback he controversially suspended for the first four games of the season.

All Brady has done since returning to the field is win every game but one, casually flicking touchdown passes like he didn't miss a down. Last week's loss to Seattle was the first blip on the radar, but there's no need to overreact in New England quite yet.

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