Dak Prescott Wins 2016-17 NFL Pepsi Rookie of the Year Award: Comments, Reaction

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2017

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 03:  Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott wins 2016 Pepsi Rookie of the Year award on February 3, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Pepsi)
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Dak Prescott quarterbacked the Dallas Cowboys to a 13-3 regular season and the NFC's No. 1 seed, and he was recognized for those efforts on Friday when he was named the 2016-17 NFL Pepsi Rookie of the Year. 

Prescott beat out teammate Ezekiel Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, Los Angeles Chargers edge rusher Joey Bosa and Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones for the honor voted on by fans. 

Dallas' signal-caller relayed a picture with his new hardware on Twitter on Friday morning: 

A fourth-round pick out of Mississippi State, Prescott wasn't expected to take a snap—much less start every game—for the Cowboys as a rookie. 

But despite taking on arguably the toughest gig in all of sports, the 23-year-old thrived in the spotlight. In 16 games, Prescott completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 3,667 yards, 23 touchdowns and four interceptions. 

According to NFL.com's analysis, Prescott set NFL records for completion percentage, touchdown-to-interception ratio and passer rating (104.9) among rookie signal-callers. His 13 regular-season wins also tied Ben Roethlisberger for the most ever by a rookie quarterback. 

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"I think Prescott, from the day he started, has gotten better and better and better, and I know the one thing that he has done so exceptionally well, he's protected the football, and his numbers will only get better as more experience comes his way," Fox Sports analyst and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw said of Prescott, per the Dallas Morning News' Barry Horn

And as NFL.com's Gil Brandt noted, Prescott "played extremely well, putting up some of his best performances in Weeks 15 and 16, just when people were beginning to doubt him."

The Cowboys' season ultimately came to a disappointing end when the Green Bay Packers pulled off an upset in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, but Prescott's poise in the pocket all season long proved he's the team's sure-fire signal-caller of the future. 

With Elliott by his side, the Cowboys should continue to operate as a force to be reckoned with atop the NFC for years to come.