ORLANDO – Nearly 12 months ago, Dak Prescott spent some grueling days in Orlando, trying to prove to NFL teams that he could be a quarterback at this level.
Wednesday's first Pro Bowl practice was just further proof that all of that hard work has more than paid off.
Now Prescott gets to enjoy the not-so-grueling practices with six of his Cowboys teammates and the rest of the NFC Pro Bowl squad, which is coached by Jason Garrett and the Cowboys staff.
"It's just awesome to be here like this," said Prescott. "It's great to have the whole (coaching) staff here and six or seven guys. It's just a great experience for my first time."
Calling this Pro Bowl his "first time" might sound presumptuous to some, but that's how Prescott has motivated himself since the very beginning.
When asked if he could've ever imagined being in the Pro Bowl as a rookie, the quarterback grinned with a shoulder shrug.
"I mean, it's hard work," he said. "You know me, I have high expectations for myself. To be here, it's definitely great to be around all of these great players."
But make no mistake, Prescott feels like he belongs as well.
And while many of the veteran Pro Bowlers might wish to be in Hawaii instead of Orlando, it sounds like Prescott couldn't have picked a better spot.
"I love it here," he said of Orlando. "I definitely know my way around."
[embeddedad0]For it was last spring when he worked with a private coach before the draft, trying to adapt his game to the pro style. He took countless snaps from center and practiced mechanics such as handoffs and footwork, along with throwing motions, in an attempt to become a complete quarterback that could not only survive, but thrive in the NFL.
To say the least, Prescott did just that. While he didn't know he would join a team that would need him to start all 16 games, he was certainly ready.
Prescott finished the season with a 104.9 passer rating, the highest among any rookie in NFL history. His 67.8 completion percentage was also the best in league record books for a rookie quarterback and Prescott's 13 victories tied Ben Roethlisberger for the most by any rookie in one season.
For all of that, he will get to start in Sunday's Pro Bowl – one of six expected starters from the Cowboys offense.
"It's been a great year," he said. "I'm excited to be here and to have this opportunity. It's humbling to be going through these drills with Drew Brees. He's one of my favorites. He's so detailed. We're out here at the Pro Bowl and he's still hitting every drill and throwing every ball. I can learn a lot from him."
A look at some of our favorite photos from day one of Pro Bowl practice at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex.