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Week 16 Rookie Review: Prescott, Collins Shine While Elliott Chases History

Every week we’ll be looking at the drafted rookies from 2016 and seeing what impact, if any, they had on the previous game.

Here’s a summary of the performances and statuses from all nine of the Cowboys drafted rookies after the win over the Detroit Lions:

Ezekiel Elliott, RB

Ezekiel Elliott, LionsElliott only got 12 carries, sitting out the entire third quarter when the game was in hand. A single 55-yard touchdown run boosted his numbers considerably. Otherwise, he’d have had just 25 yards on his 11 other carries.

Zeke went into the week needing at least 129 yards in each of the next two games to break Eric Dickerson’s record. With Detroit’s stuffing him most of the game, it’s clear that the Cowboys felt chasing the record wasn’t in his best interests. Zeke got shut down once they’d built a two-
possession lead.

Jaylon Smith, LB

Smith was placed on Reserve in . Most did not expect Smith to play in 2016 back during the draft process. Dallas will hope that the immensely talented gets right this and debuts next year.

Maliek Collins, DT

Collins registered a sack for the third time in his last four games. He now has five total this year, which is a strong number for a rotational defensive .

While ’s emergence may be the catalyst for the Cowboys’ increased , Collins’ sack came on individual brilliance. With Dallas just rushing three defenders, Collins quickly slipped past the Detroit and chased Stafford down. His athleticism was on full display.

Charles Tapper, DE

Tapper went on in Week 4 due to back issues. He was inactive the three games before that, making this a redshirt season for the fourth-round pick.

Dak Prescott, QB

Dak Prescott, Lions
AP Photo / Brandon Wade

Prescott’s three passing touchdowns and 75% completions earned him a 148.3 passer rating, his highest single-game rating yet so far. His 10.6 average per pass attempt was also a new career high.

There’s really nothing bad to say about this performance. Dak showed you everything you want to see with the playoff nearing. He was precise and deliberate running the and also made some good choices when he improvised and ran with it. His chemistry with also looked strong; a huge plus for the postseason.

Anthony Brown, CB

Brown suffered a concussion near the end of the 1st quarter and did not return. The injury occurred while covering a kickoff return. He hadn’t been seen much prior to the injury, other than one nice pass deflection.

With a meaningless game and a first-round bye, Dallas will be able to exercise caution with Brown if needed. They can get through the Philly game with , , and along with using as a corner if needed.

Kavon Frazier, S

Another week of active status but no visible sign of Frazier. Barring at , it is likely his only chance to make impact will be on . However, Frazier may get some run in Week 17 as Dallas looks to start resting some players for the postseason.

Darius Jackson, RB

Jackson was cut two weeks ago to make room for . He was claimed off waivers by the , who had the first spot in the waiver order. It was reported that the Eagles, Giants, and 49ers also put in claims. He is the only drafted player from 2016 to no longer be with the Cowboys.

Rico Gathers, TE

Gathers is still on the team’s ; the only drafted player to not make the this season.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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