Cowboys Top Three Rookies Of All-Time: Offense

May 25, 2022
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The Dallas Cowboys have had some of the most successful rookie seasons in the entire league. From the incredible rushing records by Ezekiel Elliott to the interception clinic put on by Everson Walls, the numbers are there. The names on this list might surprise you but then again, maybe not because the Cowboys have had some rather successful rookies.

The problem now is picking which of the rookie seasons for Dallas stand out above the rest. However, we will start by picking the best offensive rookies first. So, do not expect to see Micah Parsons or Mel Renfro or any defensive player on here. That being said, let’s break down the top three offensive rookies in Cowboys history.

3.) Tony Dorsett, Running Back (1977-1987)

Tony Dorsett is a household name in Dallas. The Hall of Famer was the tone-setter for Cowboys running backs before Emmitt Smith entered the scene. Dorsett was the starting running back only a few games into his rookie year. Being the starter for Tom Landry was a big role but Dorsett flourished immediately.

Dorsett helped lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl title in his first year. He also rushed for 1,007 yards, and 12 touchdowns which landed him Offensive Rookie of the Year. Dorsett’s yards and touchdowns stood as the Cowboys’ rookie record until 2016 when a man named Ezekiel Elliott was drafted. Dorsett was everything the Cowboys franchise wanted in a franchise running back and he set a pretty high standard for any running back that followed him.

2.) Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back (2016-Present)

Remember that Dorsett rookie record that lasted until Zeke came around? That is just one reason Ezekiel Elliott is number two on this list. Elliott broke that rookie rushing yards record only ten games into the season. He also broke Dorsett’s touchdown record for a rookie with 15 rushing touchdowns. Zeke finished his rookie year with 1,631 rushing yards, the fifth-most in Cowboys’ history. He also finished with 1,994 all-purpose yards which is the third-highest total in league history.

Zeke’s league-leading 1,631 rushing yards is the first time a rookie led the NFL in rushing yards since Edgerrin James in 1999. Ezekiel Elliott joined Tony Dorsett as the only Cowboys rookies to rush for 1,000 yards. Elliott missed passing Eric Dickerson’s NFL rookie rushing yards record by only 178 yards. With this many records broken and yards racked up in one year, Zeke earns the number two spot on this list.

1.) Dak Prescott, Quarterback (2016-Present)

Last but certainly not least, we have the captain of the Cowboys ship, Dak Prescott. Prescott entered his starting role in week one following a Tony Romo injury in the preseason. Once Prescott took over, he never looked back and has had quite a bit of success. Prescott easily had the best rookie season in Cowboys history, offensive or defensive.

The list of accolades that Dak accomplished in his rookie year is incredible. Prescott led the Cowboys to 13 wins in 2016, just one win shy of matching Ben Roethlisberger’s rookie wins record (14). Prescott would also finish his rookie year with a 67.8 completion percentage, 23-4 touchdown-interception ratio, and a 104.9 passer rating. All three of those stats are the best by any rookie quarterback in NFL history.

Shall I continue? Prescott also has the Cowboys franchise record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a single season with six. Lastly, Prescott is only the 12th rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl era to lead his team to the playoffs. Very rarely does a rookie quarterback dominate the stat book and competition that much. Prescott proved that a fourth-round pick can turn into a franchise quarterback and more.


Which all-time Cowboys offensive rookie is your favorite? Comment below and join the discussion!

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