Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was impressed with the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL playoffs on Sunday.
Dak Prescott nearly put the Cowboys in a position to pull off an improbable comeback but the Packers jumped out to a big lead early and then held on for a 34-31 victory as Mason Crosby's 51-yard field goal snuck inside the left upright with time expired.
But in the loss, Prescott and fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott impressed even Rodgers.
Prescott was 24 of 38 for 302 yards and became the first rookie QB with three touchdowns in a postseason game.
Elliott carried the ball 22 times for 125 yards, many of which came in the fourth quarter as the Cowboys scored 18 points.
"Dak and Zeke had phenomenal seasons," said Rodgers, who threw for 356 yards and drove the Packers in position for a pair of Crosby field goals in in the final two minutes.
"This is just the beginning for the Cowboys. There's going to be more battles like this over the years. They should be really proud of what they accomplished."
Elliott, the number four overall pick in last year's NFL Draft, led the league with 1,631 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns despite sitting out the regular-season finale as the Cowboys (13-4) had already locked up the top seed in the NFC.
Prescott threw for 3,667 yards with 23 touchdowns and only four interceptions as he and Elliott were both selected to the Pro Bowl in their first seasons.
Prescott, a fourth-round pick from Mississippi State, was not even supposed to be the backup to Tony Romo this season. But after Romo went down in the pre-season with a back injury and Kellen Moore broke his leg during training camp, Prescott was thrust up the depth chart.
After the Cowboys lost their season opener, they rattled off 10 successive wins with Prescott and Elliott leading the way. Dallas stuck with Prescott even after Romo was healthy enough to play.
"The way that he's taken care of the football and his play on the field has been spectacular," Rodgers said of Prescott.
"The thing that's maybe even more impressive is how he's handled himself off the field. The guy is a really mature rookie. He handled himself with so much class in a tough situation. The Cowboys have a bright future with Dak Prescott."