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    Can Cowboys Passing Game Sustain Without Ezekiel Elliott?

    As things stand right now, the will be without Ezekiel Elliott's services for the next six games. It's a huge blow to the offense, because Elliott has become the centerpiece/focal point and everything feeds off of his production. Without Elliott in the lineup, the Dallas Cowboys are now likely going to have to rely on the , but are they good enough in this area to keep them afloat for the next six weeks?

    Yes, I'm well aware that the Dallas Cowboys still have and to fill in for Ezekiel Elliott, but they are a huge downgrade. Personally, I think has looked the better of the Cowboys backup RBs, but it's doubtful the staff names him the starter over two proven veterans.

    We are going to have to be honest with ourselves. Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden, and even Rod Smith can't do what Ezekiel Elliott does. The offense for the Dallas Cowboys is going to suffer as a result of Elliott's and they are going to have to adapt in the meantime. I think that means the passing game needs to improve and quickly.

    Dak Prescott and Dez BryantThe passing game for the Dallas Cowboys hasn't exactly been on fire so far this season. There have been far too many times where nearly every receiver has dropped a catchable pass or where Dak Prescott has been off target. That simply can't happen anymore, especially since they don't have Ezekiel Elliott to lean on anymore.

    From what I've seen from the Dallas Cowboys passing attack, I don't think they can carry this team in Zeke's absence. That's not to say that they don't have the pieces in place to do that. They just haven't been able to do it on a consistent basis yet.

    If you read just about any of my articles pertaining to the Dallas Cowboys offense, then you know all too well my criticism of 's playcalling. I think he is way too predictable and doesn't do enough to put his players in a good enough position to succeed. Life without Zeke is going to make things all that much more difficult for Linehan, but he absolutely has to step up his game.

    The best way for the Dallas Cowboys to stay afloat in the division is for Linehan to figure out a way to make the passing game an extension of the . He needs to take a page out of the playbook to see how they utilize their WRs and figure out how to do that with the weapons he has at his disposal.

    Dez Bryant, Jason Garrett, Cole BeasleyLuckily, Linehan has Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer. Both WRs are exactly what the Cowboys offense needs to make the passing game an extension of the running game. Beasley and Switzer allow Dak Prescott to get the ball out quickly and pick up yards after the catch. is the master at utilizing his receivers this way and Prescott would be wise to do the same.

    Unfortunately, the Dallas Cowboys offense is definitely going to take a step back without Ezekiel Elliott in the lineup. The good news however is they do have other playmakers who can hopefully replace some of Elliott's production. But, it's going to take a collective effort and I don't know if they are up to the challenge.

    This is a situation we are all going to be watching very closely over these next six games. We are all just going to have to hope that this team can come together and stay afloat until Ezekiel Elliott returns.

    Do you think the Cowboys can stay afloat without Zeke?

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    Brian Martin
    Brian Martin
    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.

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    10 COMMENTS

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    Travis Diggs

    The two deciding factors on for this question is Scott linehan’s playcalling and who they use the most in the backfield the most. If you keep the defense guessing and get Rod Smith involved I think you have a chance. I dont believe Alfred Morris is your guy. And maybe a little bit of no huddle. Using all three rbs will keep the defenses guessing

    Brian Martin

    Travis, you’re absolutely right. Scott Linehan’s playcalling definitely needs to get better. If he doesn’t improve, I don’t think it matters who runs the ball

    oneputter

    i will also add to the need of calling a good game offensively, its the personnel that is used.
    i fully believe its time to ask witten to step aside and to let swaim take on more of a role in the passing game.

    witten can be used on short yardage plays when first downs are needed. swaim has to be the one to open up the middle of the field, he’s much faster and will keep defenses thinking.

    addtionally, why not use switzer from the slot to stretch the defense, he has to be involved in the passing game.

    finally, dak needs to turn it loose. he’s been holding the ball to long with happy feet. trust the routes, trust the WR’s and let them go get it. i see wr’s open.

    Brian Martin

    I don’t see them phasing out Jason Witten anytime soon. Swaim looks like he can be a threat in the passing game, but we don’t really have a very big sample size. I think we might start to see more Switzer on offense. I’m hoping we see more quick sets by Prescott so that he can get the ball out quicker. Beasley and Switzer in the lineup would allow him to do that. But, this will all depend on how Scott Lenihan adjust without Zeke in the lineup.

    oneputter

    witten is not scaring the defense anymore, they all know what he is going to do, run to first down marker and sit. his lack of speed more than anything is, IMO, hurting the offense.

    again, not a big sample size because of 82, i’m a huge fan of 82 but there comes a time when the young men need to take over, while the vets play a lesser role.

    i hope we see a lot more of all the WR’s. noah brown needs to be part of this, i think he can be a good one. i don’t remember a game where both 10 and 11 were on the field together.

    yep all on SL at this point, i agree.

    Brian Martin

    I don’t disagree at all. Jason Witten isn’t a threat after the catch, but I just don’t see them making that kind of move unless he’s injured. And, I’m a huge fan of Noah Brown. I think he could easily replace Williams. I also think we will start to see a lot more of Beasley and Switzer with Elliott out. They could be an extension of the running game, much like the Patriots do with their WRs.

    EverybodyTalks

    I see that comment a lot about Lineman and his play calling. Players still have to make plays and our O-line is finally in synche. The run game, as a result is also getting better. The simple truth is we run the ball. We run downhill. We are easy to figure out. We are not Andy Reid with a ton of gizmo/gadget plays. I did like the one by Linehan, last year, with Dak/Dez to Witten. It would be great to see that one again or a few others. Gimme a couple of those in a game. Still, I think we will see some changes w/o Zeke because the Cowboys can’t lean on him for awhile. I believe Lineman will be up to the task. Last year, he had to redial everything for Dak, when Tony went down. We forget that those adjustments were week to week as Dak progressed. We will see if Lineman can be flexible and adjust to this change. I really want to see Alfred Morris and Rod Smith as the dynamic dual. Alfred softens them up and Rod, at 6’3″-240, becomes the beast. Everyone is saying what about Rod on Special teams. I say put D-Mac on Special Teams. The guy has been inactive all year. People be trippin’ if they think he will be able to just jump in and take over.Teams aren’t prepared for Rod Smith. No film. D-Mac may have fresh legs and may be a veteran, but C’mon. Let him chase down Tyreek and Hunt…that will test those fresh legs.

    Brian Martin

    These next six games are going to be huge for Linehan as a play caller. He absolutely has to step up his game and I think we are all hoping he does just that.

    dallas1966

    Brian, another excellent article. Coach Linehan, will need to be the second coming of Coach Landry. THE Cowboys, have a library with tons of tape on Coach Landry multiple offense, IN addition, to using some of today’s college football spread offense concepts, he has the players in The Bease, Switzer, and Brice Butler, TO pull it off, it’s going to very interesting, these next six weeks, without Zeke, on how innovative Coach Linehan, will be now that’s it’s official that Zeke will be put on the shelf for six weeks. I know for one, the Cowboys need a Tight End, to threaten the deep seem routes, Witten can no longer provide that presences, like a jimmy graham. Keep up the great job Brian.

    Brian Martin

    Thanks for the compliment. I try to write about things that my readers not only find interesting, but what they may be thinking. Linehan did a good job last week getting some of the other WRs against the Chiefs, but he has to continue to find innovative and creative ways to do that now with Zeke out of the lineup. He has the personnel to do so, but he has to find a way to play to each individuals strengths. Hopefully he’s able to do that because the Cowboys have a tough stretch ahead of themselves. They play three games in 11 days.