HOUSTON Dak Prescott pushed all the right buttons during a remarkable rookie season that began with him as a fourth-round project of the future and ended with him replacing Tony Romo as the starting quarterback, leading the Cowboys to a 13-3 record and having the best statistical season of any rookie quarterback in NFL history.
He did so on the field and in the locker room with his ability to bring the Cowboys together, young and old.
Prescott continues to set the right tone Saturday night when he was named the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of Year in an upset over his fellow teammate, running back Ezekiel Elliott, the fourth overall pick who led the NFL in rushing with 1,631 yards.
Prescott brought Elliott to the stage with him in Houston and asked if could have a knife so he could cut the award in half.
“It’s not a rivalry,” Prescott said. “We feed off each other. We make each other better. It’s more of a friendship and a brotherhood. I admire him so much as a person and a football player. He deserved it just a much as I did. We always handed things together. The defense had to stop the run, which made my job easier.”
Prescott also thanked the Cowboys offensive line, “the great wall of Dallas,” for protecting him and opening holes for Elliott.
Prescott then thanked the other 31 teams for passing on him, allowing him to be picked by the Cowboys.
Prescott started all 16 games and posted 3,667 passing yards with 23 touchdowns and four interceptions. His six rushing touchdowns set a single-season franchise record by a Cowboys quarterback.
Prescott had the best completion percentage (67.8), touchdown-interception ratio (23-4), and passer rating (104.9) by any rookie quarterback in NFL history.
In leading the Cowboys to a 13-3 record, he tied Ben Roethlisberger for the most wins ever by a rookie quarterback.
He’s the first rookie and only the second player in NFL history to throw for at least 3,500 yards with fewer than five interceptions in a season. New England quarterback Tom Brady was the other.
Prescott always had confidence in himself, but said he the fact that so many teams passed on him after an illustrious career at Mississippi State made him work even harder.
“Thirty-two teams passed on me three times,” Prescott said. “The Cowboys got lucky. It’s hard for me to say 134 people are better than me. It’s hard to say seven quarterbacks are better than me. It allowed that chip on my shoulder to grow.”
The night was not all lost for Elliott, who was named the FedEx Ground Player of the Year.