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How Attitude, Approach Helped Rookie Pro Bowlers Prescott, Elliott Make History

FRISCO, Texas – Dak Prescott was about a minute into his weekly visit with the local media when a visitor popped up behind him.

"Where's the candy at, man?" Ezekiel Elliott said, digging through Prescott's locker.

A few minutes later, when the reporter herd had migrated to Elliott a few lockers down, Prescott tossed a few mini-candy bars his way.

If only these rookies could learn to relax a little more during their first NFL season.

Wednesday's exchange illustrated the friendship between Prescott and Elliott and the positive impact they've had on a Cowboys team with the league's best record through 14 games (12-2).

They're fun, they're loose, but they also know when to focus.

It's how they became the first rookie duo in franchise history to make the Pro Bowl in the same season.

The significance of that achievement wasn't lost on Elliott, even as the fourth overall pick in April's draft who arrived in Dallas with lofty expectations.

"It's exciting," he said. "It's hard to make a Pro Bowl. It's hard to play football in this league. It's hard to make a team in this league. And to be recognized as one of the best at your position in this league is very exciting, especially as a rookie. So you've got to embrace that. You've got to accept that that's a rare thing. But us as a team, we have bigger goals than that."

Prescott took a different path to the Pro Bowl. He was a fourth-round pick, the seventh quarterback drafted out of 15. He began training camp third on the depth chart behind Tony Romo and Kellen Moore.

Injuries to both players moved Prescott into the starting lineup. Just like high school and college, he maximized his opportunity.

"I've kind of been the guy that's been doubted his whole life," he said Wednesday. "Wouldn't play college football or whatever. Wouldn't play in the SEC at quarterback. I'd play tight end in the NFL. I've had scrutiny, so it really doesn't bother me. Just motivates me, allows me to stay focused."

Joining Prescott and Elliott as Pro Bowl selections are three-fifths of the Cowboys' dominant offensive line: left tackle Tyron Smith, center Travis Frederick and right guard Zack Martin. Both rookies consistently thank their blockers up front.

Prescott, who has the NFL's third-best passer rating (103.2), said his Pro Bowl selection is a credit to the entire offense that ranks fifth in yards per game (389.8) and tied for fourth in scoring (26.1).

"It's humbling, but I definitely wouldn't be able to do it without this team," he said. "Obviously those big guys up front that made the Pro Bowl; Dez, all my receivers, Cole playing at a high level this year; Zeke, Pro Bowl running back. I've just got great playmakers around me that just allow me to have fun out there."

Head coach Jason Garrett credits both rookies for making week-to-week improvements in their skills throughout the season that led to this type of honor.

"It's very impressive, the transition that both those guys have made," he said. "They were big-time players at big-time programs. They played against the highest competition there is in the college level.

"Having said that, it's a hard transition from college football to pro football. It starts with who those guys are, how much they love football, how much they care about football, how hard they work each and every day."

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