When Dak Prescott was taken with the 135th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, no one in their right mind thought he would be the Cowboys' Week 1 starter, let alone lead them to a first-round bye in the playoffs.
For Prescott, everything changed Aug. 25 when Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo went down with a back injury that would sideline him nearly two months. For a rookie quarterback taking over the most high-profile position on the most high-profile team, this could've quickly turned into a disaster, but that's not what happened with Prescott.
As he explains it, a big part of his success this year had to do with the confidence he got when several teammates reached out to him after he was named the starter. During an interview on "Inside the Huddle" with former Cowboys fullback Tyler Clutts, Prescott talked about the mindset he had after he was named the starter.
"[The starting job] just came a whole lot earlier than I had imagined," Prescott said. "Figured it would be a couple of years down the road, but as I said, an opportunity presented itself, take it and run with it. I was thankful. Just to be able to go in there, play for this great organization, have great coaches, have great teammates."
One of those "great" teammates is Romo, who reached out to Prescott right after the rookie was named the starter.
"I have vets texting me -- Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, you got Tony, he's texting me like 'I believe in you. You're the type of guy I pull for,'" Prescott said. "So it just makes me feel comfortable. Just to go each and every day and be myself."
According to Prescott, there's absolutely no tension in the Cowboys locker room now that the quarterback job is 100 percent his.
"Everybody wants to see everyone else be successful and succeed," Prescott said. "We're all cheering for the other guy, we're all cheering for the backup. Our offense is cheering for the defense. You just want to see everyone be happy."
The interview with Clutts ran for nearly 3o minutes and Prescott touched on a lot of issues. One of the most interesting questions had to do with the player Prescott was most nervous about meeting after he was drafted.
"It was more of just anxious and just ready to meet Dez Bryant and see how Dez Bryant acts, and meet Tony Romo, meet Jason Witten," Prescott said. "Dez was one of the first guys that we're in the locker room, we're all -- you know you want to mind your business but you're looking out the corner of your eye of who's walking in -- Dez was one of the first guys, walks up, shake all the rookies' hands, and that was awesome."
Believe it or not, it wasn't Bryant who Prescott was the most nervous about meeting.
"Jason Witten was the guy, I guess you could say, makes you the most nervous," Prescott said.
With 16 games under his belt, Prescott doesn't look nervous around anyone on the Cowboys' roster anymore. The Cowboys will also be hoping that he doesn't look nervous when he starts his first career playoff game on Sunday. Although the Cowboys are favored, winning with a rookie quarterback in the playoffs isn't easy.
Since 2011, rookie quarterbacks are 0-6 against non-rookie quarterbacks, and the non-rookie that Prescott will be facing this week is Aaron Rodgers.
You can see Prescott's entire interview below.
(Wink of the CBS Eye to the Dallas Morning News)