Cowboys Nation is bracing themselves for the possibility that Ezekiel Elliott could be hit with a suspension from the NFL. Rumors have circulated that Elliott is looking at a one or two game suspension, but there are several reasons why Dallas Cowboys fans shouldn’t worry too much.
Ezekiel Elliott without a doubt took the Dallas Cowboys offense to a new level as a rookie in 2016 and was looking to build upon that performance this season. He will still have his chance to prove why he is one of the best running backs in the entire NFL, but he may have to do it a few games into the season.
If Elliott does miss the first two games to open up 2017 season, I believe the Dallas Cowboys are still more than capable of putting enough points on the board to beat the New York Giants and Denver Broncos. Below are my three reasons why I’m not too worried about the possible suspension to Ezekiel Elliott.
Reason #1: Cowboys’ Offensive Line
It’s really become commonplace to refer to the Dallas Cowboys offensive line as being one of the best in the entire NFL. There may be some reshuffling of a few positions in 2017, but they are still headlined by three Pro Bowl players who are among the best at their given positions.
Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin will pave the way for whoever is taking handoffs in the event Ezekiel Elliott is indeed suspended. La’el Collins is hopefully going to be an upgrade in 2017 at right tackle and whoever earns the starting left guard position should be just fine sandwiched between Smith and Frederick.
It’s this unit that will keep the Dallas Cowboys offense rolling if an Elliott suspension happens, which is one of the reasons why I believe Cowboys fans shouldn’t worry too much. They will continue to dominate by opening up running lanes for the RB and by protecting Dak Prescott in the passing game. It’s just what they do and will continue to do despite any suspensions.
Reason #2: Backup RBs Are Capable Fill Ins
There’s no denying that Ezekiel Elliott is arguably one of the best running backs in the entire NFL. What he accomplished his rookie season was simply amazing, but that doesn’t mean the Cowboys can’t survive a few games without him. That is because they have a couple of capable backups already on the roster who can fill in.
Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris have proven themselves capable of being starting RBs in the NFL, and it’s that veteran experience that could be invaluable if Ezekiel Elliott is suspended. McFadden has already had a 1,000 yard season behind the Cowboys offensive line, but he’s not necessarily the best fit to run in the zone blocking scheme. Morris on the other hand is a better fit, but doesn’t provide the same kind of versatility as McFadden.
The Cowboys have time to figure out which running back would be the best suited to step in if Elliott can’t go. McFadden or Morris are both capable of filling in and finding success, which is another reason why I think Cowboys fans shouldn’t worry too much about an Ezekiel Elliott suspension.
Reason #3: WRs Can Carry The Offense
The Dallas Cowboys are going to have the deepest wide receiver position they have had in recent memory. I fully expect the passing game to reach a new level in 2017. It’s become well-known that the Cowboys have a run first mentality on offense, but the wide receivers are more than capable of carrying the team on their shoulders.
Dak Prescott is looking to improve on his fantastic rookie season and he has the weapons at his disposal to do just that. Even without Ezekiel Elliott in the equation, the Cowboys have an abundance of playmakers to move the ball up and down the field and put points on the board.
Dez Bryant should return to his old form after having to play through injuries the last several seasons. Cole Beasley has become one the best slot receivers in the entire NFL and is a mismatch for anybody who tries to cover him. Terrance Williams is better than a lot of people give credit to and Ryan Switzer should add another element to the passing game.
This is shaping up to be an impressive group who could be leaned upon if the running game is struggling or in the event Ezekiel Elliott is suspended. This happens to be the biggest reasons why I don’t think Cowboys fans should worry too much about Elliott’s potential suspension.