The envelope, please ...

Edmonton Eskimos defensive assistant AJ Gass show the plays during practice at Commonwealth...

Edmonton Eskimos defensive assistant AJ Gass show the plays during practice at Commonwealth practice field. (Perry Mah/Sunmedia)

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

In one of the strange statistics in the CFL, the Edmonton Eskimos have won more Grey Cups in the last five years than CFL year-end player awards.

While the Green and Gold have two league championship titles in that stretch, the last Eskimo to win an outstanding player award was Elfrid Payton in 2002 (outstanding defensive player).

In fact, Payton is the last Eskimo to win since 1996.

Kamau Peterson, John Comiskey and Tristan Jackson represent the club's best hopes to break the drought this year.

With the Eskimos announcing their outstanding player award winners in the six categories yesterday, the voting process to determine the West Division nominee is this week.

Here are the Eskimo winners and their competition in the West as voters from the Football Reporters of Canada get ready to decide.

(*indicates unanimous choice by voters)

Outstanding Player: Ricky Ray, QB*

The fifth time he has received this honour.

Fumbles (13) and interceptions (17) will keep him from winning the West Division nomination.

B.C.'s Cameron Wake and Calgary's Henry Burris will fight for that division nod, which will be announced Nov. 4. The league winner is announced during Grey Cup week.

Quotable: "The thing that we don't necessarily go out and share with the media and others: here is a guy that is playing and at times is playing hurt," said Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia on Ray.

"This is something that he chooses to do and we clearly support him.

"He has had his struggles but has looked good for the most part."

Outstanding defensive player: Jason Goss

Leads the team with five interceptions and three fumble recoveries.

Goss is in a hopeless scenario against Wake (20 sacks).

Quotable: "He breaks really well on the ball when he is able to undercut those throws," said Maciocia on Goss.

Outstanding offensive lineman: John Comiskey

A critical addition to the line this year, Comiskey is the quarterback of the front five and has only given up 2.5 sacks this season.

Going against Jason Jimenez (B.C.), Rob Lazeo (Calgary) and Gene Makowsky (Saskatchewan), Comiskey is in a talented West Division class for the nomination.

The Esks have given up the most sacks (37) among the West teams, which will hurt Comiskey with voters who focus on a line-wide stat.

But Ray has a slow pass release and a non-existent running game in some starts.

To Comiskey's credit he has probably given up the fewest sacks by a centre in the league this year.

Quotable: "He brings that nastiness to the line of scrimmage every single time he lines up," said Maciocia on Comiskey.

Outstanding rookie: Tristan Jackson*

Four touchdowns this year - three on special teams returns - has turned heads this year.

But Jackson faltered at times in the second half of the campaign and bobbled two more balls on returns last Saturday.

Weston Dressler (1,033 receiving yards in Saskatchewan) should win the West nomination to go against the East Division counterpart for the CFL award.

Outstanding special teams player: Jackson

While Jackson leads the CFL in return touchdowns, Saskatchewan's Luca Congi (88.1% success rate on field goals) will surely get his share of votes in the West.

Outstanding Canadian: Kamau Peterson*

The political posturing has already started and is well documented.


Videos

Photos