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Can Ezekiel Elliott Save The Cowboys Season?

Brian Martin

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Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant

The long-awaited wait is finally over. After serving his six-game suspension, Ezekiel Elliott can finally rejoin his teammates and become a member of the Dallas Cowboys once again. He will without a doubt be welcomed with open arms, but can he save the Cowboys season?

The Dallas Cowboys are still technically in the playoff hunt, but it won't be easy for them to get there by any means. They pretty much have to win out the rest of the season and also get a little help from other teams around the league. But, sometimes all you need is a chance.

Ezekiel Elliott's return couldn't have possibly come at a better time. After narrowly escaping the Oakland Raiders Sunday night in a must win situation, the Cowboys are continuing to do what they need to in order to make it into the postseason. Elliott of course hopefully revives Dallas' stagnant offense.

We all know how important Elliot is on the offensive side of the ball for the Dallas Cowboys and how pungent they have looked these last six weeks without him. I could throw out all kind of statistics to prove my point, but we all know it and have seen it with their own eyes.

Unfortunately, opposing defenses simply don't respect the running game as much without Ezekiel Elliott in the lineup. This of course has put more on the shoulders of Dak Prescott and the passing game, but defenses around the league have pretty much figured out how to contain the Cowboys playmakers.

Ezekiel Elliott

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Dez Bryant receives extra attention on nearly every play and Cole Beasley is bracketed in coverage as well. This makes it extremely difficult to get them the ball and unfortunately no one else has really stepped up to help out. This is where Ezekiel Elliott comes in and why he is so important to the Cowboys offense.

There is no denying Ezekiel Elliott is a special talent. He strikes fear in opposing defenses because he is a threat to take it to the house anytime he touches the ball. It doesn't matter if it's in the running or passing game, he is equally dangerous in both.

Fortunately, Elliott should open things up for the entire offense. It will make Prescott's job easier by forcing defenses to have to determine whether they want to put another man in the box or continue to give extra attention to Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley. This should help get the offense back on track, which is exactly what the Cowboys need the rest the season.

The Cowboys have the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles left to play this season and both teams unfortunately have pretty good defenses. In order to win these games, the Cowboys will once again have to lean heavily on Ezekiel Elliott and I know we are all hoping he is up to the task. How he performs will likely determine the outcome of these next two games.

Will Ezekiel Elliott save the Cowboys season?



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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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Hector Espindola

    December 18, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Yes, Zeke can make the season ends 10-6, but Falcons and Lions own the destiny of the season. However, if Dallas not makes the playoffs, this season has given the FO the most revealing season assessment you can ask for, in terms of unmasking the true state of the team (on a hard way). This season has given a critical route by pointing out the missing elements to take Cowboys to the Big Game sonner than later!! Critical elements unrecognized, hidden or “label it as you want” months ago and now totally exposed for the sake of improvement.

  2. fgoodwin

    December 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    “Saving the season” is predicated on winning the last two games.

    Zeke’s mere presence can help mightily toward achieving that goal. But we need a lot of help from other teams, and Zeke can do nothing about that.

    So no, I’d say Zeke cannot “save the season”, at least not by himself.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      December 18, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      You are exactly right. The Cowboys can still win out and not make the playoffs. They still need help from other teams around the league. But, Elliott’s return does give them a better chance. It’s going to be really disappointing if the Cowboys end up going 10-6 and miss the playoffs, but that’s the way things go sometimes I guess.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      April 25, 2018 at 9:30 pm

  3. oneputter

    December 18, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    he is going to change quite a bit but i would not call him the savior.

    this entire offense needs to play better, specifically at the QB position. dak did not play good last night, neither did the WR’s. if we plan on making a run, dak needs to turn it loose. these little dink and dunk passes won’t cut it. turn it loose!!! he missed a few last night.

    and play calling stunk! SL needs to get his head out of his @$$. do we ever plan on using switzer in the passing game? can we get swaim on some routes?

    this team has a lot of work to do.

    and yes we need lot’s of help from the rest of the league

  4. EverybodyTalks

    December 18, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Brian, Very good points about how Zeke helps others. Hector’s comment also started me thinking. Zeke has already been a savior of sorts, in the same manner Sean Lee has been a savior for the defense. To be stronger, you need to “see” your weaknesses. What I mean by that is how weak we were without either of them. It caused us all to pause when they were out. To know our weaknesses, gives us the opportunity to address them in 2018. An Example: Currently, we may not have Tyron vs. Seattle and we already know what that looks like from the Atlanta game. I saw a great salary cap article on a rival site. It showed how we could sign D-law (tag), Irving(RFA) and Hutch. In the scenario, we keep Jonathon Cooper and have about 16 million left on the cap. It pushes Zack’s contract back, but we have him signed to his 5th year. We also could pick-up about 5 million by cutting Hanna and Mayowa while letting Morris walk. My comment about the cap, may seem off-the-path to your article, Brian, but by seeing what we have with and w/o Zeke, we know where to go in the draft. The same holds for Sean Lee. it gives us direction going forward. This year has shown us where to get stronger. It also says that by signing our own free agents, we can go for the best available at the 2018 Draft, while considering our needs.

  5. Russ_Te

    December 19, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Well, Todd Gurley just went for 21 / 152 / 7.2 against the Seahawks in their building. In a game the Seahawks needed to win, they were lit up. Reminds of the Chargers game on Thanksgiving… ;^)

    So they come in on a bad jag, and Elliott will be fully aware of the Gurley numbers against them. In addition to winning next week and getting some help, it’s a lot better if the Eagles defeat the Raiders. They are 1.5 games ahead of Minnesota in conference record, did not play head to head and it appears to me that if they win next Monday it locks up home field advantage.

    So Dallas would then not face Philly’s best players in 2 weeks. The Cowboys have to win out and get lucky with other teams losing. But if they sneak in, they could be a dark horse in the conference. They all hate that Packers outcome last year, and that should make them plenty hungry.

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Cowboys Offseason: Landon Collins Cleaned Out Locker, Set to be FA

John Williams

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Cowboys Headlines - #DALvsNYG: Dealing With Giants Safety Landon Collins

It's no secret that the Dallas Cowboys are heading into the 2019 offseason looking to upgrade at the safety position on a defense that finished inside the top 10 in 2018. With much of the focus on Earl Thomas, New York Giants Safety Landon Collins has become the center of attention in the last couple of days.

Per a report by Josina Anderson, Collins cleaned out his locker on Wednesday as he gets ready to go into free agency for the first time.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

I'm told that Giants S Landon Collins cleaned out his locker today at the team facility and said his goodbyes to teammates, coaches and trainers. It doesn't seem like Collins expects to be a Giant for much longer, per sources.

After Paul Schwartz attempted to assert that there was no claim to the report...

Paul Schwartz on Twitter

Attention those who care about the New York Giants: Landon Collins HAS NOT cleaned out his locker at the team facility. Repeat: Landon Collins HAS NOT cleaned out his locker at the team facility. Go about your business and have a nice day.

And Landon Collins had this to say...

https://twitter.com/TheHumble_21/status/1098315997839265792

If cleaning out a locker is any kind of evidence, then Collins is prepared to hit the market when free agency opens on March 13th. He joins a loaded safety group that includes Thomas, Houston Texans Safety Tyrann Mathieu, Los Angeles Rams Safety LaMarcus Joyner, Glover Quin of the Detroit Lions, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix formerly of the Green Bay Packers, but most recently of the Washington Redskins, and several others who could find new homes this offseason.

The Cowboys are very familiar with Landon Collins, as they've seen him nearly twice a year over the last four years. The three time Pro Bowler was one of the best players on the Giants defense. They would line him up in the box and at time use him to cover Cole Beasley.

Collins ranked first in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus in run stop percentage at 7.2%. Meaning on running snaps, he made a tackle that rendered the running play ineffective 7.2% of the time.For further reference, Jeff Heath made a run stop on 4.2% of his run plays, which was 15th in the NFL among safeties.

The only positions to have more of an impact on the running game were linebackers and the defensive line. Even if you include linebackers, his run stop percentage was 31st in the NFL. Leighton Vander Esch led the Dallas Cowboys with a run stop percentage of 11.3%, which was third among linebackers. Collins number nearly matched the run stop percentage of Jaylon Smith at 7.6%.

Add Collins to a defense that stops the run as well as the Dallas Cowboys did last season and you take your team to another level against the run.

Landon Collins will probably get the most money this offseason. He's only 25 and has had success in the NFL. Many teams will be reaching out to Collins when free agency opens and the Dallas Cowboys should certainly be one of those teams. Collins would be an excellent addition to the Dallas Cowboys defense and would allow Xavier Woods to stay in his role as the free safety.

We're just under three weeks away from the start of NFL free agency and the drama will only get bigger as the Cowboys look to add to their team.



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Report: Free Agent DL David Irving Not in Dallas Cowboys’ 2019 Plans

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

The Dallas Cowboys and troubled Defensive Lineman David Irving appear to be at an impasse. According to a report from David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the team has "no intention" of trying to re-sign Irving and will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.

Irving started the 2018 season with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He only appeared in two games after that, registering one sack and four tackles.

David Moore on Twitter

Source: Cowboys have no intention of keeping DT David Irving at this time https://t.co/vqMNZty6Aq via @sportsdaydfw

Despite reports of David's ongoing issues with an ankle injury, Dallas never placed him on injured reserve. Then came the reports that Irving was missing practices and team meetings while dealing with personal issues related to the custody of his daughter.

The team stayed pretty mum on the subject of Irving's status throughout the year, falling back on the ankle injury when pushed. But after months, it became clear that either David, the team, or both parties were disinterested in his return to football.

The Cowboys had high hopes after 2017, when Irving posted seven sacks in just eight games. They placed a second-round tender on him last offseason as a restricted free agent and were surely ready to give him a long-term deal if he'd built on that success.

But David's issues, physical or otherwise, have clearly done the opposite.

Dallas is known for working with troubled players, as we've recently seen with Randy Gregory. That they're closing the book on Irving suggests there's an issue with his desire towards football.

It's a sad loss for both. David's potential is enormous, as evidenced by his productivity when he actually does play. But he appears more likely to hit the Commissioner's exempt list in 2019 than the football field, given the reports of multiple failed drug tests over the last year.

Hopefully David Irving can turn things around one day and capitalize on his talent. But if it ever happens, it appears that it won't be with the Dallas Cowboys.



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BREAKING: WR Terrance Williams Gets Dropped by Dallas Cowboys

Jess Haynie

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Takeaway Tuesday: What We Learned From Cowboys Loss To Packers
AP Photo/Ron Jenkins

The Dallas Cowboys have ended their six-year relationship with Wide Receiver Terrance Williams. According to multiple sources, they have declined a team option on Williams' contract and he will now be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

The move will reportedly save the Cowboys $2.25 million in salary space this year.

Williams was the team's third-round pick in 2013 and started 68 of the 83 games he played in. He developed into a solid number-two receiver by the end of his rookie deal in 2016 and was given a new four-year contract that offseason.

David Moore on Twitter

Terrance Williams career w/ the Cowboys is done. Sources say the club has declined the WR's option for 2019, making him a free agent. The move is no surprise. He caught just 2 passes for 18 yards last season. His departure frees up $2.25 million on the cap.

After another decent year in 2017, things took a bad turn for Terrance last season. It started with an offseason arrest for public intoxication that eventually led to a three-game suspension, although Williams served that while on injured reserve.

The Cowboys already appeared to be giving Williams' spot away when they made several offseason acquisitions at WR; Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin all were brought in even before Terrance's arrest.

While Williams did start in two of Dallas' first three games in 2018, he only had three passes his thrown his way. The team finally put him on IR due to ongoing complications with a surgically-repaired foot.

While it didn't end well, Terrance Williams' time in Dallas was ultimately a solid return for a third-round pick. He made a few big plays and was a proficient run-blocker, good enough to start in almost 75% of the team's games since he was drafted.

The Cowboys now hope that another third-round pick, Michael Gallup in 2018, will do bigger and better things.



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