Bengals Rookie Andy Dalton Wins NFLPA Emerging Player Award

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals rolls out of the pocket against the Houston Texans during their 2012 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium on January 7, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

There's a decent chance that Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton will be in the Pro Bowl this season (Tom Brady has to win today to make that happen), which would be icing on the cake considering that Dalton was able to lead his team to the playoffs in his first season in the NFL. He may be out of the running for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award since Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton had such an incredible, record breaking year, but that doesn't mean Dalton will go home empty handed.

According to The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy, Andy Dalton was awarded the Emerging Player Award by the NFL Players Association during the NFLPA PULSE Awards on Friday.

Dalton received the Emerging Player award, which was voted on by fans. The other nominees were New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham, New England TE Rob Gronkowski, Carolina QB Cam Newton and Detroit DT Ndamukong Suh. The Emerging Player award recognizes a rising star showing performance, character and maturity. The awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles.

Considering the seasons that Newton, Gronkowski, Graham and Suh had, this is a pretty big award and Dalton should be proud of himself. Hopefully he can build off his rookie season in 2012 and do even better.

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