DALLAS Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott became the first rookie to finish atop the NFL Players Association top-50 sales list by claiming the crown for the 2016-17 campaign, the union announced.
The 21-year-old rusher who sparked Ohio State to a national title in 2014 before being taken fourth overall by Dallas in last year’s NFL Draft, headed the sales list of all NFL player licensed merchandise from March of last year through this past February.
“It’s pretty humbling,” Elliott said. “When you’re a rookie, you’re just looking to put your head down, help the team and learn the ropes. To accomplish this level of success off the field shows just how passionate football fans are in Dallas, Ohio, my home state of Missouri and all around the world.”
While no figures were revealed for spending on each player, in all NFL fans purchased more than $1.6 billion on jerseys, wall decals, toys, figures video games and other souvenirs involving specific players.
Elliott’s rookie teammate, quarterback Dak Prescott, was second on the list with Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots third, Dallas receiver Dez Bryant fourth and New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jnr fifth.
“To be up there with Dak and Dez alongside great players like Tom Brady and Odell Beckham is very special to me,” Elliott said.
Quarterbacks took four of the next five spots with Seattle’s Russell Wilson sixth, Philadelphia rookie Carson Wentz seventh, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers eighth and Carolina’s Cam Newton 10th, edged by New England tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Dallas and Seattle each had a high of five players on the list, but the Cowboys’ group was all in the top 15 overall, also including Tony Romo at 15th and tight end Jason Witten at 12th. Not a single San Diego Charger made the top 50 list.
QUICK FACTS FROM THE BEST-SELLERS
— The top two player spots were swapped in jersey sales, with Dak Prescott finishing first, followed by Ezekiel Elliott.
— Six players who finished outside the overall Top 10 player rankings actually ranked within the Top 10 in apparel sales: Julio Jones, Derek Carr, Matt Ryan, Witten, Antonio Brown and Julian Edelman.
— Elliott led sales of McFarlane Toys figurines with more than 10,000 units sold.
— Brady sold the most Funko Pop! vinyl figures, as well as the most Bleacher Creatures plush dolls; Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan trailed only Brady in plush doll sales.
— Brady also was tops in player-identified kids tees and jerseys from Outerstuff.
— Wentz generated the most bobblehead sales by Forever Collectibles, as well as sales in bracelets, key chains, and lanyards by Aminco International.
— Aaron Rodgers topped sales of Hardlines category, followed by Elliott, Brady, Beckham Jr., Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Prescott, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton and Bryant. Rodgers was also No. 4 in MacFarlane Toys/Madden Ultimate Team figures.
— Beckham Jr. was No. 1 in sales for collegiate and NFL player wall murals from Fathead, as well as ceramic banks from new licensee, FABNY.
— Jameis Winston led sales in collegiate sports photo collectibles from Photo File.
THE TOP 50
1. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
2. Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
3. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
4. Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys
5. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants
6. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
7. Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles
8. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
9. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots
10. Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
11. Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers
12. Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys
13. J.J. Watt, DE, Texans
14. Von Miller, LB, Broncos
15. Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
16. Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
17. Khalil Mack, LB, Raiders
18. Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
19. Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders
20. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
21. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
22. Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots
23. Luke Kuechly, LB, Panthers
24. Richard Sherman, DB, Seahawks
25. Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers
26. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
27. Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay Packers
28. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
29. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
30. Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
31. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
32. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
33. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
34. Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
35. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings
36. NaVorro Bowman, LB, San Francisco 49ers
37. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
38. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
39. Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington
40. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
41. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
42. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
43. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
44. Harrison Smith, S, Minnesota Vikings
45. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
46. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
47. Kam Chancellor, S Seattle Seahawks
48. Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets
49. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
50. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears
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