Dak Prescott's remarkable rise to first-year franchise quarterback gained more national recognition Wednesday at ESPN's 25th annual ESPYS, where the Cowboys' starter accepted the evening's first award for Best Breakthrough Athlete.
Prescott took the stage in Los Angeles to accept the honor. He thanked his teammates for helping him step in as a rookie and assume a starting role; his coaches for putting him in the right position to make plays; his family for their support; and "Cowboy Nation" for voting for him.
Airing on ABC and hosted by Peyton Manning, the ESPYS recognize the best players in sports over the past year. Other Best Breakthrough Athlete nominees were Giannis Antetokounmpo, Laurie Hernandez, Aaron Judge and Christian Pulisic.
A fourth-round pick by the Cowboys last year, Prescott moved into the starting lineup in August following injuries to Tony Romo and Kellen Moore. The rookie kept the job the entire season, posting the league's third-best passer rating (104.9) behind only New Orleans' Drew Brees and New England's Tom Brady.
Prescott started all 16 games and posted 3,667 passing yards with 23 touchdowns and four interceptions, leading the Cowboys to a franchise-record tying 13 wins. His six rushing touchdowns set a single-season franchise record by a Cowboys quarterback.
He's the first rookie and only the second player in NFL history (Brady) to throw for at least 3,500 yards with fewer than five interceptions in a season.