Ezekiel Elliot has no doubt been a disturbing sight for NFL defenses during the past year, finishing with over 1,600 yards and 15 touchdowns but with a 6 game suspension hanging over his head, the Raiders, Texans, Giants, Broncos, Cardinals, and Rams are praying for Zekes appeal to be upheld. Heres why the cowboys should hope so too.
The Cowboys finished with a record of 13-3, 1st in the NFC in 2016. With sophomore quarterback Dak Prescott behind center, they should already be at ease. However, with Elliots suspension, there’s talk in Dallas about a sophomore slump. Here’s why that won’t happen. Dak threw 28 touchdowns last season as well as rushing for another six. Now, the typical argument would be along the lines of “He won’t do anything without Zeke because the defense doesn’t have to respect the run” and normally I would agree. It would be harder to maintain that high level of performance if they didn’t have a run threat. But they do, and two of them. Darren McFadden is a nine year veteran who’s career rushing average is 4.2 yards, solid production. Alfred Morris has six years of NFL experience and has had three 1,000 yard seasons. These stats are just that. Stats. So I understand that there may be some worries about wether these backs can get the job done (which they can) but heres another reason Ezekiels suspension won’t hurt the cowboys playoff hopes. O-Line. Thats it. The Dallas Offensive line is a force to be reckoned with. Remember 2014 when DeMarco Murray almost had a 2,000 yard rushing season? Yeah, me too. Needless to say, there will be plenty of yards coming on the ground in the first 6 weeks of the Dallas Cowboys’ Season.
After recapping the back up running back position for the cowboys and assuring you their offensive line is still the monster it was three years ago, you can see Dallas doesn’t have much to worry about. Still, why SHOULD Ezekiel Elliot serve his suspension? Remember just two years ago when Tom Brady won his appeal of a four game suspension? Well although the decision was originally overturned, Goodell made sure Brady would get punished. The suspension for Brady was reinstated for the 2016 season. Now, this is important because of the timing; With just a month left until the start of the season, and the suspension being reinstated at that time, Brady served the suspension in the first four games instead of appealing. This was smart of Brady and the Patriots because if the suspension had been upheld when Brady appealed, he would have been instead serving the suspension during the late corse of the season of maybe even the playoffs! Elliot won’t be in exactly the same shoes, but its something to think about for him and the Cowboys. The end goal is to be a Super Bowl champ, and if sitting out six games actually helps your team more than it hurts them, bite the bullet and kiss the trophy.