After the disappointment of 2015, no one expected the Cowboys to succeed in 2016, and certainly not with said success being driven by two rookies. Take a look at what occurred in 2016, how the Cowboys compared to other teams in their division, & how Dak and Zeke played a large role.
A few years ago, the Cowboys seasons were pretty consistent in terms of touchdowns, interception, wins and losses; not extraordinary seasons but certainly not disappointing. Then came the downfall of 2015. The Cowboys had a terrible season performance, with only 4 wins and 26 touchdowns. This caused a sharp decline in positive stats and an incline in negative ones, with interceptions doubling from the 2014 season. Disappointing was an understatement. But a new leaf was turned in 2016, with a more motivated team and two unstoppable rookies. Statistics climbed the ladder fast, with wins trippling and touchdowns almost doubling. Check out the sharp change in game stats:
We talked with one of the reckless rookies, quarterback Dak Prescott, and talked with him about what it was like becoming a starting player, what he's learned through the NFL, and what to look forward to in the 2017 season.
Dakota Prescott was drafted in the 4th round, 135th overall in the 2016 Draft. During his time as a QB at Mississippi State, Dak achieved 38 school records, led the Bulldogs to their first #1 ranking EVER, led them to the Orange Bowl, & was a 2015 Heisman front runner. He won the Reese's Senior Bowl MVP and ranked 3rd in total yards in SEC history. Prescott broke and tied several NFL awards during his rookie season, including his passer rating of 104.9 & breaking Tom Brady's record for "most consecutive pass attempts without an interception to start a career." Dak led the Cowboys to a 13-3 season, won the Pepsi Rookie of the Year, & the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Dak is from Haughton, LA & is the youngest of 3 boys.
Check out Dak's story>>
Ezekiel Elliot entered the 2016 Draft as a junior from Ohio State. He finished second in career rushing yards of all time at OSU, won Offensive MVP of the 2015 Sugar Bowl & the National Championship game, & he was a front-runner for the 2015 Heisman. Zeke's 43 touchdowns at Ohio State were 4th most of all time, & he was the 2015 Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year & Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year. He was drafted 4th overall to the Cowboys in 2016, and became only the second rookie in Cowboy's history to rush over 1,000 yards in one season, but jumped to number one in the Ravens game. Zeke was the NFL's 2016 top rusher, was selected to the Pro Bowl, & won FedEx's 2016 Ground Player of the Year. Zeke is from St. Louis, MO.
Check out Zeke's story>>
The unstoppable rookies! No one ever thought that the Dallas Cowboys would have the season they did, much less being led by two beginners who are only 21 & 23 years old. Together, Dak & Zeke have shattered records & made every other NFL franchise fear the next decade. They are the only rookie duo to ever play in the Pro Bowl, as well as gain respect from every other team. If you were watching the 2017 NFL Draft, you may have noticed every other NFC East team drafted countless amounts of defensive players. Everybody wants to stop the dynamic duo, but these reckless rookies are on a freight train bound for Super Bowl territory. So....GOOD LUCK!
See the rookies in action>>
The Dallas Cowboys franchise was established in 1960, have since won eight NFC championships and are the only team in the NFL to have had 20 straight winning seasons. They have made eight Super Bowl appearances, winning five of them. There are 15 members of the Cowboys franchise in the NFL Hall of Fame, including current owner, Jerry Jones. The Dallas Cowboys are the biggest franchise in the NFL, with a value of $2.1 billion and a profit of $227 million. They are America's Team and they have and probably always will be a force to be reckoned with.
Both Romo & Dak are considered to have had tremendous rookie seasons, but the Dak hype of 2016 surpasses any buzz Tony Romo ever received. He had good times and bad times, but Romo retired a Cowboys' legend and left the future to Prescott. Though Romo shadowed Dak in this last season, both QB's are outstanding players and outstanding leaders. Take a look at the chart below to see how just how similar these Cowboy QB's are. Dak had 4 more touchdowns his rookie season, which doesn't seem like much, but that's 24 points on the scoreboard and it made a huge impact on the 13-3 record for 2016. Prescott also surpassed Romo in completed passes with 311 versus 220. Completions lead to yards gained and touchdowns and time on the clock is precious. 311 completions and 49 season touchdowns is a step up from the 220 completions in Romo's rookie season (though there was 52 touchdowns), and certainly a step us from the disastrous 83 completions and 26 touchdowns during the rut that was the 2015 season. One of the biggest errors a quarterback can make is to throw an interception, and 13 interceptions is average for a rookie quarterback; only 4 interceptions as a rookie is pretty remarkable. Props to Prescott.
The Dallas Cowboys were the 2016 NFC East division champions despite two losses to the New York Giants. Their division includes the NY Giants, the Washington Redskins, & the Philadelphia Eagles. All four teams had fair & decent seasons, but the Cowboys came out on top. Let's compare the Cowboys' starters' stats to other teams in the NFC East. Ezekiel Elliot led the NFL and the NFC East with 322 rushes for 1,631 years, with the second place rusher in the division, the Giants' Rashad Jennings, trailing pretty far behind with 181 rushes for 593 yards. Cowboys' quarterback, Dak Prescott, of course led the division in completions with 311 completions for 459 attempts, resulting in a 0.68 percentage. Redskins' QB, Kirk Cousins, was a close second with 406 completions for 606 attempts, resulting in a 0.67 percentage. The Washington Redskins dominated with the most catches of the season at 312 and the Giants slid into second with 253, but when it came to individual passes, the Giants' Odell Beckham Jr. killed first place with 101 catches for the 2016 season. In regards to defensive statstics, the Giants dominated the amount of sacks with 7.5; the other three teams had similar outcomes with the Redskins having 3 sacks, the Eagles had 3, and the Cowboys had 3.5 sacks. The Giants also led with interceptions by defensive players at 15, followed by the Eagles at 14, the Redskins at 7, and the Cowboys at 6 interceptions. Although the Cowboys were not on top in every statistical category, winning games is what truly counts and their 13-3 record made them champions. The Giants took second with a record of 11-5, the Redskins took third at 8-7-1, and the Eagles took last in the division with a record of 7-9.