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Benrus 3 Stars: Trusted Vets, Dynamic Rookie Led Cowboys in Final Month

The Cowboys pride themselves on doing everything as a team. Regardless of the outcome on the field, the goal is for the players, coaches and entire organization to come together as one.

However, there are always standouts that rise above the rest.

In the month of December, the Cowboys saw their winning streak end at 11 games, but they responded with two more wins to claim the NFC East title and No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

Let's look back at December's 3 Stars of the Month, voted on by the staff and presented by Benrus.

Ezekiel Elliott - The rookie running back has been nothing short of sensational during his first season, which is what the Cowboys were expecting all along. But he's lived up to the billing and then some. In December, Elliott continued to grind out tough yards even against some of the better defenses the Cowboys saw on the schedule. His 86 yards and a touchdown vs. Minnesota was vital to the win, and Elliott was the only offensive weapon against the Giants, rushing for 107 yards. He then ripped off 159 yards against the Bucs for a career-high, followed by a dazzling game with the Lions, which included a 55-yard TD run.

Dez Bryant- While it would seem difficult for Dez to make this list considering he had just one catch and a lost fumble against the Giants, the other games were able to make up the difference. Against the Vikings, Dez set up the first TD with a 56-yard catch and then scored the go-ahead TD in the fourth quarter. Against the Lions, Dez became the fifth player in NFL history and just the second in the Super Bowl era to have multiple TD catches and a TD pass in a single game. Dez completed his first-career attempt to Jason Witten for a second-half touchdown. Bryant also had two spectacular scoring catches in the 42-21 rout of the Lions.

Sean Lee- Recording 49 tackles in a season would rank among the Top 10 on this Cowboys team. But Lee did that in the month of December by himself. The anchor of the defense was all over the place during this four-game stretch, including a franchise single-game best 22 stops in a loss to the Giants. Lee also had 12 tackles against the Bucs and 10 in a win at Minnesota. He recorded just five tackles against the Lions, but his presence and awareness helped the Cowboys to a second-half shutout after trailing Detroit in the second quarter. Overall, Lee has been the heart and soul of the Cowboys defense all season long and it showed up in the biggest way during the final stretch of games in December.

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View some of our favorite photos from the Cowboys game against the Philadelphia Eagles on January 1, 2017.

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