CFL Most Outstanding Player: Jon Cornish vs. Chad Owens

Frank Doyle | Updated Nov 09, 2012


The CFL has named Calgary Stampeders running back Jon Cornish and Toronto Argonauts wideout/kick returner Chad Owens as the finalists for this season’s Most Outstanding Player award. The winner will be announced on Nov. 22 in Toronto and it could be a tight race.

Jon Cornish

Cornish broke a 56-year-old season rushing record for a Canadian earlier this season by rumbling for 1,437 yards. Now he’s looking to become the first Canadian to win the MOP award since Tony Gabriel brought home the hardware back in 1978 and the first CFL running back to win the award since Mike Pringle did so in 1998. Cornish, who is basically a shoe-in to also win the Most Outstanding Canadian, leads his Stamps into battle this weekend in the Western Division semifinal at home against Saskatchewan.

“Awards are cool. And of the two, MOP, definitely,” Cornish told the Calgary Herald. “I’ve been up for (top) Canadian before. I’m interested to see how I stack up against the top guys. Hey, I’m honoured to even be included with guys like Nik Lewis and Kevin Glenn, who had huge years for us. Everybody knows they’re two of the main reasons why we’re where we are. So, you know, I just want to contribute the best I can.”

Chad Owens

Owens has had a record-breaking year as well. The 5-foot-8, 180-pound speedster set a pro football benchmark with 3,863 all-purpose yards. He paced the league with 1,328 receiving yards and 2,510 return yards and gave the Argos the playmaker their offence needed throughout the season. He was always dangerous on special teams, but now he’s equally as potent as a receiver for quarterback Ricky Ray. Owens pulled in six touchdown passes this year. The Argonauts host Edmonton in Sunday’s Eastern Division semifinal.

“I’ve always set the bar high for myself,” Owens told reporters. “As a player, you never want to be No. 2. You never want to be second best. You want to be the best. For me, it’s winning the Grey Cup and if I’m fortunate enough to win the MOP.”

The Verdict

This one might as well be a coin flip. Both players are absolutely essential to their teams and their numbers speak for themselves. If you’re into storybook endings, you probably have to go with Cornish. He may not be as explosive as Owens, but it’s definitely difficult to picture where the Stampeders would be without him at this point.