Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott wins the AP’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award over teammate, running back Ezekiel Elliott.
The Dallas Cowboys were truly blessed in 2016. Not only did the team finish the season with a 13-3 record, the NFC East crown and a first round bye in the playoffs; they did so with two talented rookies leading the way.
In what was one of the best draft classes in recent memory, the Cowboys drafted Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Then Dallas found an absolute steal late in the fourth round with the selection of Dak Prescott, a quarterback out of Mississippi State.
Elliott went on to lead the NFL in rushing with 1,631 yards on a league-leading 322 carries. Zeke also scores a total of 16 touchdowns. Held out of the Cowboys final regular season game, Elliott was only 178 rushing yards from breaking the all-time rookie rushing record held by Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson.
Despite Elliott’s amazing rookie campaign, the Associated Press elected Prescott as the recipient of the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award on Saturday. According to NFL.com, Dak received 28 of the 50 AP’s votes. While Elliott garnered 21.
Prescott likely had the edge over Elliott simply because of the position he plays. Most believe it is a much easier transition from the college game to the NFL for the running back position over a rookie quarterback. That’s mainly due to the depth of knowledge and level of responsibility the latter is shouldered with.
Elliott did win the FedEx Air & Ground Players of the Year award, along with Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan.
What Prescott did in 2016 was truly remarkable. After veteran starting quarterback Tony Romo injured his back in the preseason, this fourth round rookie was thrust under center of America’s Team. Despite the pressure, the 23-year old excelled.
In fact, Prescott played so well he unseated Romo as the starter in Dallas even when the 36-year old veteran returned from his injury during the season. Dak threw for 3,667 yards, 23 touchdowns and only four interceptions starting in every game for Dallas his rookie year. Prescott also ran for 282 yards and six scores.
Although it’s Dak Prescott that will go home with the hardware, it’s really the Dallas Cowboys who are the winners. They have two very talented rookies set to lead their franchise for the next ten years and beyond.