Dak & Zeke: Cowboys Rookies Make Their Mark
The Dallas Cowboys won an NFC-best 13 games last season and claimed the NFC East -- going from 'worst-to-first' in the division after a 4-12 record in 2015 -- led by two rookies: quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.
The Dallas Cowboys are the only team in NFL history to have a rookie pass for 20 touchdowns (Dak Prescott, 23) and a rookie rush for 15 touchdowns (Ezekiel Elliott, 15) in the same season. Dallas is also the only team in NFL history to have a rookie pass for at least 3,500 yards (Prescott, 3,667) and a rookie rush for at least 1,500 yards (Elliott, 1,631) in the same season.
Both Prescott and Elliott were named to the Pro Bowl, marking the first time in franchise history two rookies were selected to the All Star game in the same season.
Prescott tied the NFL rookie record with 13 wins (Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers 2004) and posted a 104.9 passer rating, the highest single-season rating by a rookie quarterback in league history. Prescott had 11 games with a 100+ passer rating, the most ever by a rookie.
Highest Rookie Passer Rating
|Robert Griffin III||2012||WAS||393||258||65.7||3,200||20||5||102.4|
Prescott began his career with 176 pass attempts without an interception, surpassing TOM BRADY (162) for the longest streak to begin a career in NFL history. Prescott finished the season with four interceptions in 459 attempts and his 0.9 interception percentage is the best ever by a rookie quarterback. He completed 311 of 459 attempts for a 67.8 completion percentage, passing Roethlisberger (66.4) for the highest single-season completion percentage by a rookie in NFL history.
In Weeks 9-13 (November 6 to December 1), Prescott had a streak of five consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass and no interceptions, the only rookie in NFL history to accomplish the feat.
"Obviously, I couldn't have done this without Zeke," said Prescott when he was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year. "The defense honed in on him which made my job easier. He deserves this award just as much as I do, from his yards, his catches, the way he handled things in the backfield. It was always together as a team. Without Zeke, I don't win this."
Elliott led the NFL with 1,631 rushing yards and became the fifth rookie since the 1970 merger -- and first since EDGERRIN JAMES in 1999 -- to lead the league in rushing. Elliott's 1,631 rushing yards are the third-most in a single season by a rookie, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON (1,808 - 1983 with the Rams) and GEORGE ROGERS (1,674 - 1981 with the Saints).
Elliott had five games with at least 130 rushing yards, tying Dickerson (1983) and MIKE ANDERSON (2000) for the most by a rookie in a single season.
In Weeks 3-6 (September 25 to October 16), Elliott had a streak of four consecutive games with at least 130 rushing yards and is the only rookie in NFL history to accomplish the feat.
Elliott had a 60-yard touchdown run in Week 5 (October 9 vs. Cincinnati) and an 83-yard touchdown reception in Week 10 (November 13 at Pittsburgh). He became the first rookie running back to have a 60+ yard touchdown run and an 80+ yard touchdown catch in a season since Pro Football Hall of Famer GALE SAYERS in 1965.
Elliott finished his rookie season with 1,994 scrimmage yards, the third-highest total by a rookie in a season in NFL history. Only Dickerson (2,212 in 1983) and James (2,139 in 1999) had more.
Most Single-Season Scrimmage Yards By Rookie
|* Playoff team (Source: NFL)|
|Eric Dickerson||LA Rams||1983||1,808||404||2,212|
- NFL Divisional Playoff Round Preview
- NFL Kneeling Protests: The Public Perception
- NFL Ratchets Up The Excitement
- Best NFL Teams the Past 10 Years
- Division Titles Always Up For Grabs
- Scoring Reached Record Highs
- Minnesota Hosts Super Bowl LII
- Total Miles Traveled
- Team Strength of Schedule Rankings
- Overtime Excitement
- New NFL Rules For 2017
- Turnovers Are Key To Victory
- Quarterback Success
- Running the Ball
- Tight Ends on the Rise
- Converting & Moving the Chains on Offense
- Super Bowl Trophy By The Numbers
- Player Milestones & Records
- Tom Brady is Tom Terrific
- Matt MVP Ryan
- Drew Brees Set To Impress Yet Again
- Mister Aaron Rodgers to Us
- Derek Carr Full Speed Ahead
- Famous Jameis Winston
- Dak & Zeke: Cowboys Rookies Make Their Mark
- Young Quarterbacks On The Rise
- David Johnson Does It All
- Larry The Legend Fitzgerald
- Antonio Brown On The Move
- Catch It Like Beckham
- Khalil Mack: Return of the Mack
- Quarterbacks in the Clutch
- Rookie Phenoms Excelled
- Dual Threat Running Backs
- On Target Receivers
- Best Yards After The Catch Players
- Receivers Who Move the Chains
- NFL 2017: Big Play Excitement
- NFL 2017: Top Punt and Kick Returners
- NFL 2017: Same Faces, New Places
- NFL 2017: Best Undrafted Players
- NFL 2017: Small School Success Stories
- NFL 2017: Quarterbacks of the Future
- Best NFL Head Coaches Ever
Receive our NFL News & Analysis by email by subscribing here
NFL Football: "NFL 2017: Dak & Zeke: Cowboys Rookies Make Their Mark"