Despite enjoying an impressive season for the Toffees, the defender was overlooked for the PFA Player of the Year nominations last week.
"With Bainesy at left-back, it's not a glamour position and I think it's hard sometimes to see just how effective he is," Sky Sports News quotes Howard as saying.
"He's our key cog. We've got Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar and those guys, and obviously Kevin Mirallas, can produce a bit of magic, but without Bainesy this team doesn't go. It's just hard sometimes for people on the outside to see that."
Everton return to Premier League action on Saturday when they host Fulham at Goodison Park.