By Trey Wilson
From going 4-12 last year and missing the playoffs to 13-3 and the NFC East Champions in the regular season, the Dallas Cowboys have proved all who have wrote them off wrong. And two key players were the difference maker: Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. With Tony Romo out for the majority of the season, there was major quarterback controversy. Three different quarterbacks had to step up and takeover for Romo last season. These three guys included Brandon Weeden, Kellen Moore, and Matt Cassel. But the question still remained: “Who would be a reliable back-up quarterback?” With that being said, Dak Prescott was drafted by the Cowboys in the 2016 NFL Draft in the 4th round. Dak was coming from an outstanding Mississippi State football program. After Romo was re-injured during the off-season, Dak became QB 1 of the Dallas Cowboys. There was a lot of talk about what Dak Prescott would bring to the table. Would he be the next star quarterback of the Cowboys?
And boy did Dak deliver…..
Dak Prescott broke Tom Brady’s previous record for the most pass attempts without an interception to start a career. He threw 176 passes which was 14 more than the previous 162 pass record, set by the Patriots’ own Tom Brady. And he did this all in the course of just six games. Dak also set another record this season as well, as he has now the highest rookie passing rating record in NFL history. His passer rating of 104.9 broke the previous record of 102.6, set in 2012 by Robert Griffin III. Dak threw just four interceptions this season in 459 attempts, which is now the lowest interception ratio by a rookie in NFL history. Dak also threw for a total of 3,667 yards. Not bad for a rookie huh? And despite the heartbreaking loss to the Packers in the playoffs, Dak will be participating in this year’s Pro Bowl game.
But Dak wasn’t the only rookie that was shining this season…
“With the 4th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select…..Ezekiel Elliott.”
My, oh my Cowboys fans were going crazy everywhere in the world when they heard that sentence. Ezekiel Elliott, who was the star running back at The Ohio State University, got his wish to play for the Dallas Cowboys. During an interview prior to the draft, Zeke said the NFL team he wanted to get drafted by was the Dallas Cowboys. Elliott chose to forgo his senior year and enter the draft after only getting eleven carries during their heartbreaking loss to Michigan State last season. He stated in an interview that he deserves to get more than eleven carries. He has definitely proved that statement this season with the Cowboys. Elliott was first in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,631 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He also scored fifteen rushing touchdowns this season. The only other player with five or more rushing touchdowns this season was Dak Prescott with six. Elliott would make a feeding motion with his hand after every single first down he had this season. The Cowboys made no mistake and repeatedly “fed him” the ball every single game. Elliot will be joining Prescott in this year’s Pro Bowl Game next Sunday, January 29th at 8:00PM EST.
The Cowboys as whole had a marvelous season. After falling just short to the Giants during their season opener in Dallas, the Cowboys went on an eleven game winning streak. They had three key road wins vs the Packers, Steelers, and Vikings during this historic run. This run was of course ended when the Cowboys faced the Giants again at MetLife Stadium. The Cowboys finished the regular season 13-3 and NFC East Champions. This 13-3 record was the best in franchise history. The Cowboys fell short in the Divisional round playoff game vs the Packers on a last second 51- yard field goal by Mason Crosby. The Packers and the Giants were the only two teams to defeat the Cowboys this season, besides the fluke game against the Eagles where Sanchez got most of the snaps.
With Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott on the roster, the Cowboys are expecting big things to happen in 2017.
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All stats were from: ESPN, USATODAY, and the Dallas Cowboys official website.
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