Over recent years, it has been safe to say that the Dallas Cowboys have not been acting like “America’s Team”. Since 2000, the Cowboys have posted a record of 141-131 and have missed the postseason eleven out of the last sixteen years. Since 2006, Tony Romo has been the quarterback for the team most kids dream of playing for growing up. However, after hurting his back during the 2016-2017 preseason, the team was forced to go with rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott was a three year starter for Mississippi State and was taken in the 4th round of the draft by the Cowboys. He led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record which was 1st in the NFC, and even won Rookie of the Year.
Along with Prescott, rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott was the talk of the league during the 2016-2017 campaign. The fourth overall pick in the draft out of Ohio State led the NFL in rushing with 1,631 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns. He was even a close competitor in the NFL MVP race, falling short to Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons. It is hard to deny the promising future that these two players have gifted the city of Dallas. They very well might lead their team back to the believable title of “America’s Team”. However, the average fan might not be familiar with them outside of their statistics from last season.
Here are 15 things you didn't know about Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott:
15 Dak Prescott - Wears the Number 4 To Honor His Mother
Peggy Prescott was born September 4th, 1961 and gave birth to three children including Dak. She raised all the children on her own as a single mother in a trailer after her divorce from Dak’s father Nathaniel Prescott. In November of 2013, she passed away after a long battle with colon cancer which left her children heartbroken. To honor his late mother, Dak wore the number four on his chest through his time at Mississippi State and kept it after being drafted by the Cowboys.
He knew how much his mother wanted to see him play professional football, so he made it known that he dedicated his rookie season to her. It is hard to feel nothing but compassion for a guy who honors his mother when he steps out onto the football field.
14 Ezekiel Elliott - Won Four State Championships for Track and Field in High School
Long before he led the NFL in rushing yards, Ezekiel Elliott was a standout runner for John Burroughs High School in Ladue, Missouri. Luckily for Elliott, his parents were superb athletes in college. His mother, Dawn Huff, being a track and field star and his father, Stacy Elliott, a linebacker for the University of Missouri. As a senior, he qualified for states in sprinting and hurdling and ended up winning the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, 110 high hurdles, and 300 meter hurdles. Following his personal best performance, he was named Gatorade Track Athlete of the Year in Missouri. Even though he decided to focus his attention on football, we now know where his 4.47 run in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine comes from.
13 Dak Prescott - He Is One of Three Quarterbacks Taken by the Cowboys Since 1992
Besides taking Troy Aikman with the first pick of the 1989 NFL draft, the Cowboys have stayed away from drafting quarterbacks while other teams have taken two quarterbacks in one draft. The Cowboys selected quarterback Quincy Carter out of Georgia University with the 53rd pick of the 2001 draft. His career was short-lived playing only in 38 games and throwing 32 touchdowns to 37 interceptions. He was out of the league by 2004.
In the 2009 draft with the 101st pick, the Cowboys selected quarterback Stephen McGee out of Texas A&M University. Unfortunately for McGee, Tony Romo was in the prime of his career leaving no playing time to any other quarterback. He appeared in only 3 games in his career and was out of the league by 2011.
In the 4th round of the 2016 draft, the Cowboys took Dak Prescott out of Mississippi State. In just one season with the team, it looks as if he has already surpassed both of those other quarterbacks with his immediate success.
12 Ezekiel Elliott - Did Not Follow in His Parents Footsteps
If given the opportunity, many kids would choose to attend the school where their parents went. Even offensive tackle Michael Oher attended the University of Mississippi because his parents went there. However, Ezekiel Elliott decided to create his own path instead of living in the shadow of his parents. He was recruited by 24 division I schools including Missouri and was ranked the 12th best running back in the country coming out of high school. During National Signing Day, he chose to play college football for Ohio State University instead of his parents' alma mater.
Even if it may have upset his parents, he went on to have an illustrious career at Ohio State during his three years at the university. He finished with 3,961 career rushing yards and 43 rushing touchdowns.
11 Dak Prescott - He was the MVP of the Senior Bowl
During his senior year at Mississippi State, Prescott threw for 3,793 yards and 29 touchdowns while running for 588 yards and 10 touchdowns. This lead to him being invited to the 2016 Senior Bowl. During the game, he completed 7 of 10 passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. The strangest part of this story is that the Cowboys coaching staff coached Dak throughout the week of the Senior Bowl. The Cowboys were impressed with his intelligence on and off the football field and knew then that he would be a great fit for their football team. Not many teams were given the opportunity the Cowboys were when learning Prescott. If the Cowboys hadn’t spent so much time with him that week, who knows if they would have drafted him.
10 Ezekiel Elliott - His Dog Has His Own Instagram Account
Ezekiel Elliott owns two dogs named Ace and Chase and both have their own unique story. Ace has his own Instagram with twelve pictures of himself with some featuring Chase. His pictures receive thousands of likes and has an astonishing amount of followers with over 51,000. However, former Ohio State teammate, Mike Weber admitted that Ace frightens him. How could a football player be afraid of an adorable dog with its own Instagram?
Although Chase appears in some of Ace’s Instagram posts, he does not have his own account. In September of 2015, someone cut a hole into Elliott’s fence and stole Chase from his yard. After a few days of searching and posting flyers around the neighborhood, Chase was returned home safely to Elliott by the police.
9 Dak Prescott - He Skipped a Kanye West Concert To Prepare for a Game
There was a time when the Cowboy fan base wanted the team to draft Johnny Manziel and I can promise that he would not have skipped a Yeezy concert to prepare for a game. Some guys just want to achieve their football dreams a bit more than others and Dak Prescott is one of those guys. At the end of August 2016, one of the companies Prescott endorses sent him tickets to a Kanye West concert. Instead of going out to the concert, he gave them to a friend and stayed home to make sure he got enough sleep before the game. Little things like these were indicators that Prescott was mature enough to handle one of the toughest jobs in sports. Hopefully his friend thanked for what was sure to be a great show.
8 Ezekiel Elliott - He Danced At Halftime of an Ohio State Wisconsin Basketball Game
On March 8th, 2015, the Ohio State basketball team took on the Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers ran the Buckeyes off the court with a score of 72-48, but the real show was at halftime of the game. The school’s cheerleaders started out what seemed to be a normal dance routine to hype the crowd when suddenly nine players from the football team, including Ezekiel Elliott joined them on the floor. The routine itself lasted about two minutes and wasn’t too bad considering the football players were not nearly as talented dancers as the cheerleaders. All team members wore their football jerseys underneath black jackets except for Elliott who had to sport his normal crop-top jersey. Maybe someday we will see him put on a show with the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.
7 Dak Prescott - He Also Loves dogs
Like Elliott, Dak Prescott owned two dogs who were very close to his heart and their names were Legend and Tibeaux. Prescott named him Tibeaux to honor one of his role models growing up, Tim Tebow. Prescott eventually gave Tibeaux away to a family friend, but still visits him whenever he can. Legend is Prescott’s other dog that he still has today. You can often see him on Prescott’s Instagram account showing him affection. Before his rookie season got started, Prescott had to get his Pit Bull house trained since he wouldn’t be home very often in the coming months. Prescott took to Instagram to announce how much he missed his dog while it was away being trained. We can only hope that the two of them have been reunited since.
6 Ezekiel Elliott - He is a St. Louis Blues Fan
LETS GO BLUES— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) May 12, 2016
Being a native of St. Louis, most people would say Ezekiel Elliott has every right to root for his hometown team, but that was not the case with many Dallas Cowboy fans. A few weeks after being drafted 4th overall in the 2016 NFL draft by the Cowboys, the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars took to the ice for game 7 of the Western Conference semifinal in the NHL Playoffs. The Blues crushed the Stars with a final score of 6-1, but it seemed Elliott took more heat than the Dallas hockey team itself.
Elliott tweeted his support for the Blues which upset many people of Cowboy nation. After the rookie season he had, I’m sure they have forgotten all about it but it still seemsg a bit unfair to hackle a guy rooting for his hometown team.
5 Dak Prescott - His real name is Rayne Dakota Prescott
Although most people who follow sports think the Cowboys starting quarterback’s name is Dak Prescott, the truth is that Dakota is his middle name which he has adopted as his first name. When asked about his name change, Dak said he did not like the name since he was little and would often get picked on as a kid in school for Rayne sounding like a girl's name. However, he did indicate that he has grown into liking the name as he’s gotten older and has not ruled out changing his name to Rayne Dakota someday. Only people close to him call him by his actual name, but it does not seem likely the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback will have another name change any time in the near future.
4 Ezekiel Elliott - He Ripped His College Coaches After Losing To Michigan
If it had not been for the 17-14 loss to Michigan State in Ezekiel Elliott’s final season at Ohio State, the Buckeyes may have been able to compete for back-to-back national titles. Elliott rushed a mere 12 times for 33 yards, which was the lowest amount in any game that season by far. It was also the only game that season where Elliott did not surpass the century mark in rushing yards. Elliott said after the game how disappointed he was in the play calling and believed he should have seen the ball much more.
The message was heard loud and clear because the following week Elliott had 214 rushing yards and Ohio State beat their longtime rival Michigan by a score of 42-13.
3 Dak Prescott - He Holds 38 Records At Mississippi State
Many people will never realize the legacy that Dak Prescott left at his alma mater of Mississippi State. He owns 15 single season records, 15 career records, and 8 single game records. Basically, any quarterback statistic that you think he might have, he probably does. During his 2014 season, he even led Mississippi State to its first ever number one ranking and capped the season off with an appearance in the Capital One Orange Bowl.
With the amount of collegiate success Prescott has had, he will most likely go down as the best quarterback to ever play for Mississippi State. Although he never won the big game for them, no quarterback was ever more electrifying to watch for Mississippi State than Dak Prescott. We might even one day see a statue outside their stadium rectifying his sensational career.
2 Ezekiel Elliott - He is One of Eight Running Backs Selected in the 1st Round for the Cowboys
Unlike the quarterback position, the Dallas Cowboys have always kept running backs high on their draft radar. Ezekiel Elliott joins the company of Hall of Famers Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith to be drafted in the first round of the draft and is the first running back they’ve taken in the first round since drafting Felix Jones as the 22nd overall in the 2008 draft. Although many football fans hardly remember the careers of Julius Jones and Felix Jones, people may have a difficult time forgetting Ezekiel Elliott after he calls it a career. Elliott is one of a handful of running backs to lead the league in rushing as a rookie. If he can keep up with everyone’s high expectations, we may see him go down as one of the best running backs to ever play for the Dallas Cowboys.
1 Dak Prescott - He Was Arrested for a DUI
Although Prescott has been the savior for the Dallas Cowboy franchise, he had a bit of a troubled past before getting drafted. Prescott was arrested for driving 41 mph in a 25 mph zone and could not pass a breathalyzer test after being pulled over. Prescott admitted to having one beer to the police that night. After he appeared in court, all charges were acquitted due to an invalid breathalyzer test.
Unfortunately for Dak, this may have been a factor in why he was passed on by so many teams in the 2016 NFL Draft. Even though that one blemish led to a steep fall in the draft, Dak must be happy landing with his late mother’s favorite team growing up. He now has the rest of his career to show the rest of the league why they shouldn’t have passed on him.