2. Dak Prescott, 2016
The Dallas Cowboys headed into 2016 with high hopes after a thoroughly disappointing 2015 that was plagued with injuries and bad luck. Fans of America’s Team would have been forgiven to feel another cursed year was on the way after the teams’ starting quarterback Tony Romo once again suffered a serious injury.
That injury left the organization with fourth-round rookie Dak Prescott as the teams’ starting signal-caller. Despite showing promise in the preseason, many fans and analysts were justifiably skeptical about Dallas’s prospects heading into 2016. However, the rookie quarterback seemingly transitioned seamlessly into the starting role.
The Mississippi State product had an unbelievably efficient rookie campaign. He finished the year with 23 passing touchdowns and only four interceptions while completing nearly sixty-eight percent of his passes. The fact that he did all of this after being thrown into the fire demonstrated the young passers grit and talent.
Prescott was certainly helped by a terrific offensive line and the help of another emerging star in Dallas, rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott went onto lead the league with an astonishing 1631 rushing yards in his rookie campaign and certainly took some pressure off of Prescott.
With Dak’s incredible season coupled with a good supporting cast, it is perhaps not surprising that the team easily made the playoffs with a 13-3 record, also earning a first-round bye on the way. The rookie quarterback was then forced into battle with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the divisional round. Prescott put up an admirable fight against Rodgers, but the Packers insanely talented signal-caller managed to eke out a 34-31 victory to end Dallas’s playoff aspirations.
The Dallas Cowboys 2016 season is certainly one of the best the team has had in recent memory. The circumstances that led Prescott to take the starting job only add to the impressive nature of his performance. Despite the fact that he was named as the Offensive Rookie of the Year for his efforts, there is still one season more impressive in recent Cowboys’ history.