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3 Reasons Why Ezekiel Elliott Suspension Shouldn’t Worry Cowboys Fans

Brian Martin



Ezekiel Elliott

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

Cowboys offensive line

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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

Alfred Morris and Darren McFaddenThere'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

Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Are you still worried about Ezekiel Elliott's suspension?

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

  • Russ_Te

    It might be a break for Morris, who at last account was in the doghouse in some way. He may have had an unreported injury, because he started 2016 great and faded like he was 47 years old.

    But McF is your starter in an Elliott suspension, and I don’t expect more passing. Defenses will expect it, which is why you’d turn a fresh McFadden loose on 7-man fronts. No problem.

    • Brian Martin

      I agree that McFadden is probably the starter if Elliott is suspended. I do however think we could see more of a spread offense though with more four wide receiver sets. I think that would take an extra defender out of the box and help the running game.

Player News

Free Agent WR Allen Hurns Plans to Sign With Cowboys

Brian Martin



Free Agent WR Allen Hurns Plans to Sign With Cowboys

It looks as if the Dallas Cowboys will be adding yet another wide receiver through free agency. According to sources, Allen Hurns plans on signing with the Cowboys.

Josina Anderson on Twitter

WR Allen Hurns just told me, "I'm going to sign with Dallas." #Cowboys

This is a move that seemed unlikely after the Cowboys signed Deonte Thompson a few days ago, but I know a lot of Cowboys Nation will be excited about this transaction.

Allen Hurns joins a receiver group that features Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, Ryan Switzer, Noah Brown, and the recently added Deonte Thompson.

While this move is exciting, it does create more confusion for the Cowboys and their wide receivers. It's difficult to imagine all of these WRs sticking to the roster, which means there will be some tough decisions that need to be made.

What will the Cowboys do with Dez Bryant?

Will Cole Beasley be cut or traded?

Are the Cowboys comfortable absorbing Terrance Williams' cap hit if traded or released?

Will this keep the Cowboys from drafting a WR early?

All of these questions and more will have to be answered eventually. But, one thing is for sure, things are definitely about to get interesting.

Of course, there is a bonus here for the Dallas Cowboys. Since Allen Hurns was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, he doesn't count against the Cowboys compensatory picks next season.

Please stay tuned and we will continue to keep you updated on contract details and any other news involving Allen Hurns as it becomes available.

What do you think about the Allen Hurns signing?

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Dallas Cowboys

What Signing Thompson Means for Hurns and Cowboys WR Position

Mauricio Rodriguez



Questions Surround Cowboys WR Position After Deonte Thompson Signing

UPDATE: News of Hurns saying he will sign with the Cowboys broke as this article went live. 

Free Agency began a bit late for the Dallas Cowboys, but they've already done enough to get fans discussing about the latest additions to the roster. Adding help on offense, defense and special teams in form of tier-2 free agents may not be what Cowboys Nation wants to see, but I'm certain they wouldn't have enjoyed giving Sammy Watkins a three-year $48M contract, either.

However, the Cowboys are clearly in the wide receiver market after an offensively disappointing season. They have quite a few of this year's class of wide receivers prospects scheduled to visit Dallas, and they've hosted some WR free agents as well.

This week, they even signed one.

Deonte Thompson, who started seven games for the Bills last year, is coming to Dallas on a one-year $2.5M contract. The 29-year old could be the burner receiver this offense is missing and could end up being an improved version of Brice Butler for the Cowboys in 2018.

He hasn't had a great career but last season was his best year so far. Starting three games for the Bears and seven for the Bills, Thompson was able to rack up a career-high 555 yards and two touchdowns.

His best attribute as a player is definitely the speed he brings to the table and his ability to separate down the field, which he'll be looking to do on Dak Prescott's offense this season.

But there was another wide receiver visiting Dallas this week and now we wonder whether or not the Deonte Thompson signing will keep the Cowboys from targeting former Jaguars' WR Allen Hurns.

According to Todd Archer, that won't be the case.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Told the signing of Deonte Thompson does not close the door on the Cowboys' interest in Allen Hurns, who visited the team Wednesday and had dinner. Things could get interesting in the Cowboys' wide receivers' room.

It shouldn't be. First of all, Hurns is a much better player than Thompson and would provide this offense with a receiver who can play in the "X" or in the "Z" role. We've been talking about getting Prescott a reliable target to try to give him a "best friend." Allen Hurns could be just that.

Sure, he's had a couple of down seasons, but the talent is there to take.

Simply put, the Deonte Thompson signing shouldn't stop the Cowboys from looking at WR in the first round of the NFL Draft. Allen Hurns would.

Cowboys en Español: Nuevas Contrataciones, ¿Podría Ser Allen Hurns la Siguiente?

It sure would make things interesting in the wide receiver room for Dallas. Despite what many believe, Dez Bryant will probably remain a Cowboy even if Hurns is signed. Let's say the Cowboys go out there and get the 26-year old from Jacksonville and have to decide which six receivers to keep for the season.

They'd possibly have to decide among these:

  • Dez Bryant
  • Terrrance Williams
  • Cole Beasley
  • Ryan Switzer
  • Allen Hurns
  • Deonte Thompson
  • Noah Brown
  • A drafted rookie?  

This is where a lot of dilemmas start taking form. Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer are basically the same player and if you're not going to use them both at the same time, do you keep them anyway? What about Terrance Williams? He could be the worst receiver to make the cut just because of his contract. 

Noah Brown showed promise in 2017, are they ready to move on from him? And finally, a rookie could very well end up beating Deonte Thompson, who was guaranteed a million in his contract.

Wide receiver is indeed one of the top needs for the Dallas Cowboys. They could head to the 2018 NFL Draft needing one in the top rounds or they could be fine signing Hurns and taking a late-rounder receiver to compete in training camp for a spot on the roster.

As long as they're having a tough time deciding because they are all good, it should be fine.

Tell me what you think about "What Signing Thompson Means for Hurns and Cowboys WR Position" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Player News

Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson

Jess Haynie



Deonte Thompson

The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.

Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.

Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.

Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.

For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.

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