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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
  • Hector Espindola

    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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DallasCowboyBooksBlog fgoodwin

    “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

      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
  • oneputter

    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

  • EverybodyTalks

    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.

  • Russ_Te

    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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Breaking: Cowboys Acquire Amari Cooper for 2019 1st Round Pick

John Williams

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Oakland Raiders' Wide Receiver Amari Cooper On the Trade Block

The Dallas Cowboys are recovering from a disappointing loss to the Washington Redskins, but that hasn't stopped them from being aggressive to try to salvage a 3-4 season. It looks like the Dallas Cowboys are going all-in on Dak Prescott for 2018 and 2019 to see if they can return him to his 2016 form. It's being reported by Josina Anderson that the Dallas Cowboys are set to acquire former first round pick and Oakland Raiders Wide Receiver Amari Cooper.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

Breaking: A source tells me that WR Amari Cooper will be traded to the Dallas #Cowboys.

Amari Cooper has been the subject of a lot of trade discussion over the last week and a half and it looks like he's going to be coming to Dallas to help solidify their wide receiver group. Adam Schefter from ESPN is reporting that the compensation the Dallas Cowboys are sending for Cooper is a first round pick.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

Cowboys traded a first-round pick to Raiders for WR Amari Cooper, per source.

 

That's way more than I was wanting to spend to get him in here, but Cooper is just 24 years old. He's playing in his fourth NFL season and has averaged  After posting 1,000 yard seasons in each of his first two years in the NFL, Cooper fell back down to earth in 2017 with only 680 yards on 48 catches. He did have seven touchdowns last year and did that in only 14 games.

In 2018, he's averaging 4.4 receptions per game for 56 yards and has one touchdown on the season. On a Oakland Raiders offense that is struggling, Cooper is second in targets, third in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. It's bold move for a player that has had his fair share of drops in his career, though he seems to have gotten better in that area.

Despite a pretty good game from the wide receiver trio of Cole Beasley, Michael Gallup, and Allen Hurns, it looks like the Dallas Cowboys are dissatisfied. Over the last few years teams like the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles have taken chances on acquiring players via trade and it's worked out well for them. The Dallas Cowboys are certainly taking a big risk, but Amari Cooper has the talent worth taking a chance on.

With the Cowboys heading into the bye week and in need of an offensive spark, if they were going to try to salvage their season, they needed to make a move. It can be debated that the price was too high, but Cooper instantly makes this offense better.



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Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases Ahead of Trade Deadline

Sean Martin

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Dallas Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases

This week, Stephen Jones discussed the difficulties of making a trade, saying "it just seems like in the NFL trades are hard to make, to make it all come together for two teams".

The two teams that could be lining up to change that are of course Jones' Cowboys as well as John Gruden's Oakland Raiders. Yet another Raiders player has been in the headlines as a trade target, 24-year old Wide Receiver Amari Cooper.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

WR-needy Cowboys doing their due diligence on Raiders' WR Amari Cooper: https://t.co/pE2wmrzCXu

Playing at the Washington Redskins on Sunday, the Cowboys will have yet another reshuffled lineup at wide receiver, playing without Tavon Austin. Their biggest offseason addition to this unit was Allen Hurns, and he's been underwhelming with just eight catches.

Thus the Cowboys are reportedly doing their "due diligence" on Cooper, sensing the need for a mid-season acquisition at WR for the right price. The Cowboys ability to potentially find that price in a deal advantageous to them, given how the Raiders handled the departure of Khalil Mack in a trade to this Chicago Bears, is what makes this story relevant.

A lot has been said about Cooper since his name emerged as the latest player potentially out of the Bay Area. Whether you believe he's still an impact receiver with the potential to regain his Pro Bowl form of 2015 and 2016 or one that "doesn't love football," as some have been inclined to say, the former fourth overall pick represents an investment into the WR position that the Cowboys have not made in some time.

In those Pro Bowl seasons, Cooper averaged over 77 catches a season while putting up over 1,000 yards in both. The Raiders have used this to justify their reported asking price of a first-round pick for Cooper, something the Cowboys are not alone in their reluctance to give.

With Cooper, the Raiders are holding onto their last bit of relevancy. A reeling 1-5 football team that needs to maximize their return on trading Cooper, the Colts and Redskins are also following in the Cowboys footsteps by preparing as much as they can on the player.

Cooper has caught 22 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown through six games this season.

For as desperate as the Raiders are to jump-start their organization, the Cowboys should be just as desperate to add a threat like Cooper to their passing attack. Unlike the Raiders, they're in the hunt for a division title, something much harder to put a price on when it comes to the Jones' finalizing any deal for Cooper in the coming days.

The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, October 30th, at 3 PM Central Time. The Cowboys will be two days into their bye week, not in action again after Sunday until November 5th.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases Ahead of Trade Deadline" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys WR Tavon Austin Skipping Surgery, May Return in 2018

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys WR Tavon Austin Skipping Surgery, May Return in 2018

A groin injury sustained last week against Jacksonville won't send Tavon Austin to injured reserve, at least for now. The Dallas Cowboys receiver has elected to forego surgery at this time, giving him a chance to return to action in 2018.

There was concern that Austin could land on IR initially following the Jaguars game, but he sought a second opinion this week. It appears that this new information was enough for Tavon and the Cowboys to decide that surgery can wait.

Rob Phillips on Twitter

Sounds like WR Tavon Austin will not have surgery at this time after getting a second opinion on his groin injury. He could miss a few weeks, however. #cowboyswire

Austin should miss this Sunday's game with the Washington Redskins. He has been the team's punt returner this season and a useful tool on offense, playing mostly receiver but also lining up the backfield at times.

Despite his limited opportunities, Tavon is tied with Cole Beasley for the team lead with two receiving touchdowns in 2018.

How long Austin will remain out is unknown at this time. After the Washington game, Dallas will have their bye week and then host the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football.

Both of these are games that the Cowboys, feeling good after a blowout victory over Jacksonville, should be able to win without Austin. But they would certainly like him back for the Week 10 road game with the Philadelphia Eagles.

In Tavon's absence, Cole Beasley will likely field punts. We may see more of Deonte Thompson in the speed routes that Austin ran on offense, though Dallas could also finally see what recently returned Brice Butler has to offer.

With an expiring contract this year, Tavon will likely want to get back soon and trying to improve his stock for the 2019 offseason. Hopefully, he can still have a positive impact on his value and the Cowboys season in the weeks ahead.



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