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Dak Prescott or Ezekiel Elliott: Who Deserves Offensive Rookie of the Year?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott

There's a lot of statements one can make about the NFL season this year. You can say the Green Bay Packers had a great stretch at the end of the season. You can say Matt Ryan was a beast all year long. You can say Tom Brady had an epic journey of revenge. But all of these statements can be argued. However, one statement you cannot argue, one even Eagles' fans wouldn't try to deny: Rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott did something the NFL had never witnessed before.

With their season ending earlier than we all hoped, Cowboys Nation is excited about the NFL Honors. It is a fact that the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award is going to one of these two kids. The question is... Dak or Zeke?

There are many outcomes to this. Heck, maybe Zeke wins Offensive Player of the Year and Dak gets the Rookie award. Jess Haynie wrote about how they should be Co-Offensive Rookies of the Year and that is by far my favorite theory.

So... who should win it?

Ezekiel Elliott, the expected one?

Being the fourth overall pick for the most valuable franchise in sports is kind of huge. Everyone expecting you to be the best rookie from the draft adds a little bit of pressure to it. Being compared to Emmitt Smith before even playing a down in the NFL makes it an even bigger deal. But hey, Ezekiel Elliott couldn't care less.

He led the NFL in rushing yards with 1,631. After being doubted by a lot of people because of his average performance in the first two games, he rushed for more than 130 yards in each of his next four.

Ezekiel Elliott had very high expectations and still... he exceeded them. He ran consistently well, he blocked like a veteran and he made the awesome look usual.

He had 15 touchdowns through the ground and he led the NFL in first downs with 91 (David Johnson was second with 72).

Zeke was the MVP for the Cowboys this season. Thanks to the threat he was to defenses, Dallas controlled the clock most of the time, the defense worked better, and he just destroyed defenses to win games for his team.

Dak Prescott, the surprise?

Dak, on the other hand, was a fourth round pick who was nothing but a "project" back in April. After Kellen Moore was injured in the offseason, he had to step up as the backup QB to Tony Romo.

After killing it during preseason, Dak came in after Tony's injury and surprised the whole world. Playing like a seasoned veteran, he became the starting quarterback of America's Team.

His numbers are not that great; he threw for 23 touchdowns, ran for six. He threw only four interceptions though, which is one of the main reasons he was so great. Dak Prescott became the leader and the new face for Dallas when they needed it most.

Quarterback is perhaps the most difficult job in sports. Arguably, Dak became the best rookie QB in the history of the NFL, or at least one of the best. This may be the biggest argument in Prescott's case for the Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Who should win it?

I'm going to pick Ezekiel Elliott to win the award.

I think Dak certainly deserves a lot of credit because of the position he plays, and I would be very happy if he gets it. Quarterback is the most important player for any team and to adapt the way he did to the NFL as a rookie was impressive.

But Ezekiel Elliott did so much for this team. He led the NFL in a lot of categories and was the best rusher in the NFL this season.

Whoever gets it, they deserve it. They brought a spark back to the Dallas Cowboys and they gave us all hope for the future.

Who do you think should walk away with the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award?

Let us know in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for an NFL show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly 4 Downs Podcast!

Tell me what you think about "Dak Prescott or Ezekiel Elliott: Who Deserves Offensive Rookie of the Year?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Frankandmichelle Bentz

    January 28, 2017 at 3:12 am

    I wouldn’t be upset with either but, in my opinion, Zeke did exactly what we thought he should do behind that offensive line. While Dak also had the benefit of the same line, his expectations were much lower. Look what seasoned vets did last year when trying to fill in for Tony. What Dak was able to do was nothing short of spectacular. We the fans are winners either way.

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      Mauricio Rodriguez

      January 28, 2017 at 8:51 am

      You’re right! We all win either way. What these two kids accomplished was unbelievable. Whoever gets the award, I think they deserve it so much. This is just the beginning of something amazing!

  2. BeirutWedding

    January 29, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    If it was up to me — and it’s not — I would go Dak. He tied the rookie record for wins by a QB, despite his numbers being “not that great” he set the rookie records for completion percentage (67.8), touchdown-to-interception ratio (which you touched upon) and quarterback rating. That’s NFL HISTORY rookie records, by the way. Not to mention, we were looking at back-to-back disaster seasons when Romo went down — and we already knew what we had in Zeke. If it had just been Zeke and say, Mark Sanchez for part of the season, I think we end up with 9 wins. Despite popular opinion, I think Dak made that difference.

    Having said all that, I’m totally good with Zeke getting the award. He was brilliant. I expected him to start off rough before he found his footing. But once he did, he was everything we wanted him to be and more. One of the more disappointing aspects of the one-and-done playoffs is that you were keeping Zeke healthy for a Super Bowl run. Now, I wish he’d gotten a full shot at that rookie record. As much as I love Dak, and I do, I hope next season this coaching staff recognizes that the one thing we do that other people can’t stop is run the football. It’s not always going to be this way. We have one season, two at the most, before defenses start reconfiguring themselves to stop Zeke. Until then, we should make him the hammer and hammer us home.

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      Mauricio Rodriguez

      January 31, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      There’s really no wrong answer here. They both deserve it so much. Dak certainly has been a great player too. I agree with you, the Cowboys have to make this team count, and I honestly think they will win. A great future is upon us.

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Star Blog

2018 In Review: Byron Jones Emerges As CB1

Kevin Brady

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Byron Jones

Heading into the 2018 season Byron Jones was being asked to prove himself. The former first round pick had fallen out of the coaches' good graces during his third season, though many of his struggles could be attributed to those very coaches which were then questioning his ability.

Being asked to play out of position, or at least in a spot which did not maximize his natural ability, Jones struggled in 2017. Too often he was playing in the box as a safety where his lack of physicality was exposed by the opponent's run game. This was mostly due to the coaching staff falling in love with his tight-end-erasing ability in man coverage, but backfired when overused as a safety.

Once hired the following offseason, Kris Richard and company decided to move Byron Jones to cornerback full time, allowing him to utilize his excellent coverage skills and athletic ability to the fullest, rather than putting him at a disadvantage in the box.

The results? Well, Jones had one of the best seasons of any cornerback in football, earning All Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his young career.

Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Byron Jones had a dominant season for Dallas

Pro Football Focus graded Jones as the sixth best cornerback in all of football last season, allowing just 0.79 yards per coverage snap. Despite not having an interception on the season, Jones still earned national recognition as one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league.

Down the stretch of the season, Chidobe Awuzie started to play up to the level which fans had hoped for during the preseason. He had been sticky in coverage most of the year, but now he was making plays on the ball at a much better rate, forcing incompletions. This led to an increase in targets to Jones' side, and though the increase resulted in more catches given up by the number one cornerback, I don't think Jones' play faltered as much as some will have you believe.

The fact is, when you get targeted more you are bound to give up more catches and yards. The key is to force them into contested catches, and make things as difficult for the receiver as possible when targeted.

Byron Jones continued to do this all season long, and fans should be excited for the next step of his growth in 2019.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Time to Stop Making Excuses for QB Dak Prescott?

Por muchos años, el tema del tope salarial ha sido un tema sensible para los Dallas Cowboys. Entre dinero muerto y otros problemas, el equipo ha tenido una situación delicada en este aspecto. Sin embargo, para la temporada del 2019 tienen más espacio de lo que estamos acostumbrados.

Según Over The Cap, los Cowboys tendrán aproximadamente 48 millones de dólares disponibles en 2019. Es importante recalcar que este número no es definitivo y puede cambiar. Año tras año, esta administración ha sido aficionada de reestructurar los contratos de ciertos veteranos para liberar espacio salarial constantemente. Además de esto, hay varios jugadores bajo contrato que el equipo podría decidir cortar para liberar aún más dinero.

Al ver sólo 48 millones disponibles, es complicado imaginar un escenario en que el equipo logre satisfacer todos sus objetivos. Hay bastantes candidatos a grandes extensiones en el equipo, principalmente dos jugadores. En una liga en la que quarterback es la posición más importante, la segunda más importante podría ser la del caza cabezas, cuyo objetivo es ir tras el quarterback contrario.

DeMarcus Lawrence, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Pues en Dallas, hoy dos  jugadores en estas posiciones que hay que extender. El más urgente sin duda es el defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence se puso el jersey del equipo cuando este lo designó a jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia. Afortunadamente, el atleta de 26 años la hizo de soldado y jugó sin amenazar con faltar a entrenamientos ni pretemporada.

Lo que sí comentó es que no pasaría por lo mismo en 2019. Ahora, el momento está aquí y es tiempo de que los Cowboys lo extiendan. El valor de Lawrence es difícil de predecir, pero es bastante seguro que se acercará a los números de Khalil Mack. Mack hizo historia ganando un contrato que en promedio gana 23.5 millones al año. Si bien no anticiparía que lo supere, la cifra estará cerca al contrato del defensivo de los Chicago Bears.

Además está Dak Prescott, cuyo contrato probablemente estará por encima de los 25 millones anuales. Son contratos caros, pero son piezas fundamentales para el equipo. Definitivamente se les tiene que pagar a ambos. Son pilares que año tras año buscan equipos en toda la NFL.

Además de esto, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley y más podrían tener un impacto en el tope salarial. Algunos buscan un contrato nuevo, otros una extensión. Pero honestamente, me parece que habrá más espacio en el tope salarial de lo que pensamos. Sólo es cuestión de tiempo para que los Cowboys comiencen a reestructurar a sus veteranos para ahorrarse unos cuantos millones para utilizar en agencia libre.

Tyron Smith, Tyrone Crawford entre otros pueden ser buenas opciones para comenzar este proceso. Antes era Jason Witten uno de los candidatos favoritos para este proceso, pero él ya se encuentra comentando partidos para ESPN. En Inside The Star, continuaremos actualizándote con contenido al día de los Dallas Cowboys.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Star Blog

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

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Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 2

Super Bowl LIII is in the books, and the Dallas Cowboys can look back on a better-than-expected 2018 campaign. Having won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and bowing out to eventual finalists Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys' young team can look ahead to 2019 as a chance to take another step forward.

The offseason is now upon us, with the NFL free agency period opening in the middle of March and the NFL Draft coming around at the end of April. Until those times, experts, pundits, and fans are left to assess their teams and predict their activities in the running to the start of next season.

The Dallas Cowboys are in a precarious position, with the team exceeding expectations, still being very young and having plenty of cap space, but also having many top-end players set to become free agents and being without a first-round pick in this year’s draft. There does, however, appear to be a way for the team to make improvements and solidify their place atop the NFC East and potentially go on to win in the Conference Finals.

Lock Down the Big Guns

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

@Randy81MossRetires, via Twitter

Many see DeMarcus Lawrence as the top potential free agent this spring, so the Dallas Cowboys need to do everything in their power to lock down the 26-year-old defensive end.

Vice President Stephen Jones has emphasized the team’s target of retaining their own stars, per Star-Telegram, with Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and perhaps Byron Jones being in the discussion for long-term deals.

As it stands, the team will have roughly $48.5 million in cap space for next season, which leaves plenty of space to re-sign their top players. They look set to let go of Tavon Austin, David Irving, and quite possibly Cole Beasley, among others, leaving a need to add reinforcements.

Adding New Talent

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 1

@brkicks, via Twitter

One of the most heavily rumored moves for Dallas in this free agency is picking up native Texan and former Legion of Boom linchpin Earl Thomas, per Forbes.

Against the Rams in the playoffs and throughout the season, the Cowboys lacked a defenseman who could make plays on the pass. Thomas is one of the notorious ball hawks in the league, boasting 28 career interceptions, three of which came in just four games of last season.

If the Cowboys can re-sign their stars while keeping some space for an Earl Thomas-sized contract, which clocked in at $10.4 million in 2018 for the Seattle Seahawks, their odds of going all the way next season will significantly increase.

Right now, the expected names of the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs lead the odds to win the next Super Bowl at +750. Behind them, the Rams sit at +900 having suffered a suffocating defeat in this year’s Super Bowl. Much further down are the Cowboys at +2500 right now with redbet. If they re-sign Lawrence, pay their young stars, and bring in Thomas, they’ll shoot up the table of favorites.

Then, there’s also the additions in the draft to consider.

The Cowboys may be without a first-round selection, but that may end up working in their favor. Round one of the 2019 NFL Draft is set to be laden with defensive selections according to most mock drafts, with a few quarterbacks sprinkled around and a minimal selection of offensive weapons. If the Cowboys re-sign Lawrence, they’ll be looking good at defensive end, so should then turn to giving Prescott another weapon in the passing game, which will also help to keep defenses honest and give Elliott more room to operate.

As stated, the NFL is a passing league, and Prescott exploded once he was given a viable option in Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup is expected to take another step forward next season, but just in case, the Cowboys can add another strong receiving option in the draft thanks to the strength of the defensive class. A.J. Brown of Ole Miss will almost certainly go in the first round, but exciting talents in D.K. Metcalf, Parris Campbell, Marquise Brown, and Deebo Samuel could all still be available when Dallas rings in during the second round.

Improving Dallas' pass options and pass defense will go a long way toward improving the team and allowing them to push on to a bigger and better campaign in 2019.



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