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Dak Prescott’s record-setting rookie year helped carry Cowboys to No. 1 seed

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The fourth-round rookie was a revelation for the Cowboys this season.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have enjoyed a dominant season thanks to the rookie duo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott capped off the regular season with a handful of rookie records, and is competing with his own teammate, Elliott, for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Prescott finished the year with 3,667 yards and 23 touchdowns, compared to just four interceptions. That’s an impressive and rare achievement just by itself.

Prescott put up a 104.9 QB Rating, surpassing Robert Griffin III for the highest mark by a rookie. He also did a fantastic job avoiding turnovers, which is often a struggle for rookies. Prescott’s 0.9 interception percentage is the lowest by a first-year QB.

Prescott was a fourth-round pick out of Mississippi State in the 2016 NFL draft. The Cowboys didn’t originally intend to make him a starter right away — he was just an insurance plan in case Tony Romo got injured again. Dallas’ 2015 season crumbled when Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden failed to produce in place of Romo.

Sure enough, Romo went down with a back injury in the preseason, and Prescott was thrust into action. The injury could’ve been another season-killer for the Cowboys, but Prescott took off and showed incredible poise for a rookie, passing Tom Brady’s record for most passes thrown without an interception to start a career. By the time Romo came back healthy, he gracefully accepted his demotion and passed the torch to Prescott.

The Cowboys took a bold gamble leaning on two rookies, Prescott and Elliott, to lead the offense, but it paid off with a 13-3 record and the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. They now get a well-deserved week off to rest and prepare for their Divisional round opponent. Prescott deserves a lot of credit for taking on the pressure and delivering. He’ll have the team’s full support as they attempt a Super Bowl run.