May 4, 2017
NFL fans can argue whether or not the Dallas Cowboys are “America’s Team,” but they can’t argue that the men with stars on their helmets can move merchandise. Two rookies led Dallas to the playoff last season and led the NFL Players Association’s Top 50 players year-end sale list for March 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017.
Rookie Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott landed in the top spot and is the first rookie to finish the year on top of the sales list. Fellow Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott followed him.
After Dallas drafted Prescott in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, he landed a starting role Dallas after No. 1 quarterback Tony Romo and No. 2 quarterback Kellen Moore got injured. It was a role Prescott excelled at last season, so much that it pushed Romo into retirement.
Dallas finished with three of the spots in the top five, and wide receiver Dez Bryant came in fourth. The young Cowboys core is poised to take over the league on and off the field if they can repeat or better the feat from 2016.
Ageless tight end Jason Witten of Dallas finished 12th on the list, and Romo finished at No. 15 even though he played just a few snaps in the season finale. Dallas was the only team that had five players land in the top 15 of the list.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finished in third even though he was suspended for four games at the beginning of last season. The finish was perfect, as he led an epic comeback from 25 points down to win the Super Bowl.
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. rounds out the top five. Wall posters of his insane catch against the Cowboys might have led to his lead in the wall-mural sales on Fathead.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is No. 6, Philadelphia Eagles Carson Wentz came in at No. 7, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers reached No. 8, Brady’s teammate tight end Rob Gronkowski reached No. 9—even with missing the Super Bowl to injury—and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton closed out the top 10.
Quarterbacks landed the most spots on the list with 19 single-callers making it. Wide receivers were second with 17 players, and nine defensive players made the list with three running backs and two tight ends.
Dallas wasn’t the only team to land five players on the list, as the Seahawks pulled off the feat as well. Joining Wilson on the list is cornerback Richard Sherman at No. 24, wide receiver Tyler Lockett at No. 43, safety Kam Chancellor at No. 47 and wide receiver Doug Baldwin at No. 49.
Five teams, the Patriots, Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders, landed three players each on the list. The Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and New York Giants each placed two players on the list.
The New Orleans Saints only landed one player on the list with quarterback Drew Brees dropping in at No. 31. NFLPA officially licensed merchandise generated more than $1.6 billion in sales last year.