FRISCO, Texas – What a difference a year makes.
This time last year, Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott had been members of the Dallas Cowboys for less than a week. Neither of the two players had appeared in uniform, and Prescott had yet to choose a jersey number.
Fast forward 12 months, and the duo tops the NFL Players Association's Top 50 Player Sales List, which was released on Wednesday morning. The list is based on total sales of officially licensed NFL player merchandise, tracking year-end results from March 1, 2016 through February 28, 2017.
With the news, Elliott earns the distinction of becoming the first rookie to finish the year atop the list.
That should hardly come as a surprise, given the way Elliott and Prescott took the NFL by storm during the 2016 season. Elliott was the No. 4 overall pick in the draft, and was seen as an immediate favorite to be the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year behind the Cowboys' offensive line.
Ironically enough, it was Prescott – who was drafted No. 135 overall – to take home that award. Prescott earned the starting quarterback job after injuries befell both Kellen Moore and Tony Romo, and he led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record, highlighted by an 11-game winning streak.
The rookie quarterback threw for 3,667 yards and 23 touchdowns, with just four interceptions in the process.
It wasn't just the rookies who benefited from the Cowboys' successful season. Dez Bryant finished the year ranked No. 4 on the list, with only New England quarterback Tom Brady coming between him and his teammates.
Jason Witten also finished No. 12 on the list, while Tony Romo finished No. 15.