The Defensive Player of the Year award is a better award than the MVP, because the MVP award is often determined based upon popularity, while the Defensive Player of the Year is won by the player who has shown himself as a star, and his team has responded by being successful in the league. It is not purely an individual award, because the player with the best stats won't necessarily win. It is the players who have shined individually, and as a result of this have made the entire defense and team preform better.
If frustrates me that the MVP award hasn't been given to a Defensive Player since 1986 (Lawerence Taylor). As the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots have showed us, championships are won through defense. The Greatest Show on Turf (2001 Rams) is nothing more than a show without the defense to back it up. I realize that the defense did very well during the regular season, but against the Patriots when they needed a stop, the defense wasn't able to do it for them. Defense wins championships, and the Defensive Player of the Year is the general of that defense. These are the five players this year who I think are the respective generals of their team, who are leaders both in word in action and thus deserve recognition.