In the race for NFL MVP, a rookie fourth-round pick has got to be the leader in the clubhouse.

How good is Rayne Dakota Prescott, aka “Dak”?

Prescott has been so good that he’s halted the only thing that can potentially mess up this revival of the Dallas Cowboys: Jerry Jones.

Sure, Tom Brady might be brilliantly thumbing his nose at the Commissioner of Football Inflation, Roger Goodell. But what Prescott has done – taking any risky decision-making out of the hands of Jones – is legendary stuff.

Prescott’s most impressive feat has been keeping the headline-hogging Cowboys owner, team president and general manager in check – and for now righting, arguably, the league’s glamour franchise.

Tony Romo’s return from a preseason back injury left Jones a perfect opening to remain loyal to his 10-year starter and fire up a quarterback controversy. But a league-best 8-1 record under Prescott’s watch has left Boss Cowboy no other choice but to keep Prescott as the starter.

It’s as if Jones is playing the part of a brazen, unwieldy politician who, ahem, must now stay on script and read from a teleprompter.

“We’re going to let this decision in this case make itself,” Jones told ESPN.com. “Dak’s got a hot hand and we’re going to go with it.”

So Sunday, Romo finally will be activated but spectate as an $18 million-a-year backup.

Said Jones of making the call, “It’s not hard at all. Tony would make the same decision. That’s what you do.”

Romo might love the parade but he has to hate his view. He’s playing the good soldier, inadvertently making him more loved by fans than the guy whose resume includes crunch-time failures and frailty.

It doesn’t mean a QB controversy is dead. It’s just lying dormant. If Dak plays like a rookie during a couple losses, fans and media will be calling for Romo.

But if Prescott stays steady and healthy, Romo probably should get in touch with John Elway and see if Peyton Manning’s old locker is available next season in Denver.

At 36, Romo is still a better quarterback than Prescott – and should be with all his experience. Prescott has taken advantage of a great offensive line and fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott’s terrific running behind it.

Young running backs can prosper, but Dak has surprisingly and skillfully handled the immense pressure of the position, especially with America’s Team. The 135th pick out of Mississippi State has made Jones look like a genius when he least expected it, throwing 14 touchdowns and only two interceptions.

He has kept Dallas riding a wave that Cowboys-watchers haven’t seen in years.

Of course the Cowboys and their faithful always carry a sense of entitlement. They think nearly every season they’re headed for the Super Bowl even when reality screams otherwise.

Last season they weren’t even Texas’ Team.

With Romo injured, the Cowboys finished 4-12 while Houston went to the playoffs.

How ’bout them Texans?

Yeah, just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

The NFL is an even better league when the Cowboys matter. They give it a show business quality and – judging from the sagging TV ratings – the country’s pastime can use a boost after it has oversaturated the market (greed spawned its Rosemary’s Baby: Thursday Night Football.)

The Cowboys’ last Super Bowl appearance – and title – came 21 years ago. Prescott, Elliott and Dez Bryant are jogging old memories, but those ’95 Cowboys fielded the original Triplets: Quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and wide receiver Michael Irvin.

Aside from a handful of double-digit winning seasons, the Cowboys largely have been mediocre since 2000, making the playoffs just five times.

There’s a lot of season left, and the Seahawks, Pats and Steelers figure to have a say. But now there’s Super Bowl talk in Dallas – and it’s at last legit, thanks in part to a rookie quarterback who has done the impossible. Dak Prescott has kept Jerry Jones from wandering off script.