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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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Amari Cooper Wins 2nd NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award of 2018

Jess Haynie

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Amari Cooper

For the second time in just three weeks, Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

Cooper scored three touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime, to lead the Cowboys to victory last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has 10 catches for 217 yards, which led all NFL receivers last week.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

After his record-setting performance during week 14, @AmariCooper9 is the FIRST #DallasCowboys to win NFC Player of the Week twice in a season! → https://t.co/kvBDIeOgBd #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote

As the official website stated, Cooper is the first Cowboy to win the award twice in the same year. He's also the first Cowboy to be named Offensive Player of the Week since Ezekiel Elliott in 2016.

Before this year, Elliott was the only Dallas player to win the Offensive award in three seasons. Cooper has now done it twice in three weeks.

Since being traded to the Cowboys, Amari Cooper has amassed 40 catches for 642 yards and six touchdowns.

His wasted time in Oakland may keep Cooper out of the Pro Bowl this year, but he's already become a fan favorite in Cowboys Nation. Congratulations to Amari for another well-deserved award!



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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Sean Martin

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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle David Irving, once a key member of the team's defense, will not make his return after all against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. For the second straight week, Irving was reportedly trending towards suiting up before being ruled out. The Cowboys haven't missed his unique presence for 13 weeks (playing against the Jaguars and Redskins), including through an ongoing four game win streak that began with a win against these Eagles on the road.

In that road win, veteran Tyrone Crawford recorded a sack and three tackles, while Antwaun Woods added two for a Dallas defense that held Philadelphia to 23 first downs and 71 rushing yards. The Eagles managed to cross the Cowboys' 30-yard line just four times.

There are many scenarios in which the Cowboys could have cut ties with Irving for not being worth the off-field trouble he's caused - beginning the season with a four game suspension. The absolute best case scenario is what they've realized amidst this turnaround, with other defensive linemen taking advantage of the opportunity left behind by Irving.

While it can still be true that Irving would make more splash plays than the likes of Crawford, Woods, Maliek Collins, and Caraun Reid, this defensive tackle group deserves praise for their ability to step in. Pass rush ability is one thing teams can't have enough of, and the Cowboys are missing some with Irving, finding ways to win thanks to the other traits these defenders bring to the table.

Cowboys Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard may effectively be the team's defensive coordinator with an emphasis on the back seven, but DC Rod Marinelli's impact is still felt - particularly up front. Regardless of where they're lined up and deployed, the Cowboys front four is expected to be disruptive on every snap, something this scrappy unit excels at.

Prepared once again to play on the edge this season, Crawford is thriving at his original position of 3T-DT. Crawford has two sacks, nine total tackles, and three other hits on the quarterback over the past four weeks. Leading by example with a relentless spirit on every play, Crawford has meant just as much to the Cowboys defensive ends as Irving could.

In a short period of time, the Cowboys have gone from building up Irving thanks to his transcendent ability to make those around him better to simply -- and importantly -- being better across the defense.

Led by DeMarcus Lawrence as their premier rusher, the Cowboys defensive line is a lot for opposing offenses to contain. The "Hot Boyz" work up front has allowed Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch to play fast and make plays all over the field.

Maliek Collins, battling back from his second broken foot in three years, is proving again he's a patented Marinelli guy. Collins' play speaks for itself when considering if the Nebraska product is best as a 3T or 1T tackle. Wherever he's asked to play, Collins creates penetration with an explosive first step and can finish at the quarterback with an array of power rush moves.

At 7-5 and fighting for their playoff lives, the Cowboys are done making excuses on the 2018 season. Their strides on defense speak for themselves, and with a group that keeps Dallas in every game they'll play, the door remains open for David Irving to earn snaps again when ready.

The Cowboys don't know any better than their play without Irving right now, and as winners of four straight, it's worth questioning if we'll see Irving over the last three weeks of the regular season.

Tell us what you think about "David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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QB Dak Prescott Named Cowboys’ Nominee For Walter Payton Man Of The Year Award

Kevin Brady

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3 Reasons Why QB Dak Prescott Will Thrive In 2017 1

As the quarterback of America's Team, Dak Prescott is faced with a level of criticism each week that few athletes have to deal with. He is constantly questioned for his play, and even when things are going well, Prescott must answer his critics. But one area absolutely no one can question Prescott is his leadership, both on and off the field.

Dak Prescott is the perfect role model for children and adults alike. He is constantly doing fantastic work in his communities and making sure he uses his platform for good to his best ability.

This week it was announced Dak Prescott was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, and will be the Cowboys' candidate in the race.

mike fisher ✭ on Twitter

@Dak Prescott has been announced as the #Cowboys nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year - for 'commitment to philanthropy and community impact.' DAL past winners of the NFL-wide honor: Staubach, Aikman, Witten. @1053thefan

Of course, Prescott is well-worthy of the honor, and I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up being both a finalist and the recipient of the award this year. As mentioned by Mike Fisher in the above tweet, three Cowboys have won the award previously; Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, and Jason Witten. Each of which is deserving, as is Prescott.

Considering the award is given out for "commitment to philanthropy and community impact," I can't think of many more worthy players around the league than quarterback Dak Prescott. We can see this impact in the locker room and on the field as well, as Prescott was voted a captain in just his sophomore season. The Cowboys clearly respect Prescott, despite some of the flaws in his game, and seem to play hard beside him every week.

Congratulations to Dak Prescott on this nomination.



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