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Can Rod Smith Help Lighten Ezekiel Elliott’s Heavy Workload?

Nothing's guaranteed yet with four games remaining in the 2018 regular-season, but it looks as if the will not only win the East division, but claim the playoff spot that goes with it. They have scratched and clawed their way back into contention and might need to start thinking about what comes next.

I know it's a little early to start thinking about the , but the Cowboys have a real shot at closing out the remainder of the season unbeaten. Anything can happen of course, but if the Cowboys continued to play like they did against the Saints, I don't see a team remaining on the schedule who can beat them.

With that in mind, I've started to think about what Dallas needs to do in order to be at their best when the playoffs get underway. Getting everybody as healthy as possible is probably the most important in my , especially with quite a few key players banged up.

Luckily, there are several key players who could be returning to the lineup this week against the . (neck/back), (hamstring), (groin), and (high ankle sprain) all look to be on track to play this week, but they're not the only ones who are banged up.

You may not have noticed with all of the excitement during the game against the , but was noticeably limping throughout the game and had to take himself out on a number of occasions. I don't know about you, but I find that highly concerning considering how important he is to the Cowboys .

Ezekiel Elliott has pretty much been a one-man show this season. No other RB on the roster has done much of anything in the , but I think it might be time for that to change a little bit.

Ezekiel Elliott
Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

It should come to no surprise, but Zeke has rarely come off the field this season. He has already almost played as many snaps this year (694) as he did in all of his rookie season in 2016 (714). That means he's taking quite a pounding as not only a runner and receiver, but as a pass protector as well. Each and every shot he absorbs takes a toll on his body.

The Dallas Cowboys would be wise to lighten Ezekiel Elliott's workload a little bit moving forward, which is hopefully where comes in. He is #2 on the , but you wouldn't know it by his usage and production so far this season.

To date, Rod Smith is averaging a measly 2.5 yards per carry on 23 attempts for 58 rushing yards. He's only played a total of 80 offensive snaps, which is just one more than Full Back and we all know how seldom he plays. I don't know about you, but I find that more than a little concerning.

Rod Smith was a playmaker as a fill-in last season while Zeke served his league mandated six-game . He was productive running the ball between the tackles and as a receiver out of the backfield, but hasn't done much of that at all this season. Why?

Does the Cowboys staff no longer trust him? Has he lost a step? Maybe it's because they've played in so many close games? I don't have the answers to these questions, but something needs to be done if Dallas wants Ezekiel Elliott at his best come playoff time.

The Dallas Cowboys need to find somebody to help lighten the workload on Zeke's shoulders. If it's not Rod Smith, maybe Tavon Austin. He did have six carries for 55 yards before his , mostly on “gadget” plays. Maybe the answer is . He's just sitting on the Cowboys right now.

Whatever the Dallas Cowboys decide, they need to do so pretty quickly. Ezekiel Elliott is just far too important to risk running into the ground, especially with a playoff berth all but secured.

Who do you think should help lighten Ezekiel Elliott's heavy workload?

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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I like Jackson and I think they should give him that shot


I agree with you. Rod Smith was great last year, but this year something is different. He has less burst and when he gets the ball, it seems like we usually lose yardage. I’d like to see what Darius can do.

Tony Hill

I were say we need another quality. back for Zeke in some started about Rod Smith. Rod Smith is a great Special team players and a very average RB we got to get another back next season to take some presser off Ezekiel Elliott plus rest in game before he get hurt. I said because before Hunt got released. But once he did get released i post i would love him to back zeke. But either way we need anther back


Rod Smith lacks vision and burst… PERIOD. I don’t like him as a pinch hitter for Zeke because he just isn’t that good….In my opinion Alfred Morris was a lot better. Yes, Ezekiel Elliott isn’t fully healthy right now. And with a banged up runner plying his trade behind a banged up line we’d have to have a better option than Rod Smith to fall back on in order to avoid placing the game in Dakota Prescott’s uncertain hands…

Just Sayin’…

Sta. Monica

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