Through seven career games, Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL in rushing at 799 yards. The remaining backs in the top five have played one more game than Elliott and still he leads them all. DeMarco Murray, David Johnson, Lamar Miller, and LeGarrette Blount have all manned their team's backfield eight games, compared to Zeke's seven.
Drafting the 21-year old at #4 overall to run behind one of the youngest and most talented offensive lines in football has worked out exactly as planned. It worked so well that Ezekiel Elliott is already drawing comparisons to the greatest RB in the history of the NFL; Emmitt Smith rushed for 17,162 yards in silver and blue, from 1990-2002.
In his career against the Eagles, a long-hated division rival, Smith accrued 2,466 yards in 26 meetings, both numbers securely lead in the Hall of Fame for running back against a single team.
In his first meeting against the Eagles on Sunday night, Zeke Elliott went for just 96 yards, his first game under the century mark since week 2 in Washington. Even still, Elliott has caught the attention of former Philadelphia linebacker Seth Joyner, who already thinks he is better than Smith.
Former Eagles linebacker Seth Joyner says Ezekiel Elliott is better than No. 22. (via @SportsRadioWIP)
When the "once every few generations" talent of Ezekiel Elliott was added to the Cowboys' offense, fans everywhere thought back to Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, and Michael Irvin; the Triplets.
I took this a step further back in July, using Smith's rookie season (1990) translated to the NFL of 2015 in order to project Elliott's potential in 2016. You can read the full article right here, 2016 Triplets: Setting Expectations for Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Ezekiel Elliott. The article also includes similar projections for Dez Bryant and Tony Romo.
If you're short on time, though, I projected Elliott would gain 1,327 yards on the ground this season and score 12 touchdowns. At his current average of 114 yards per game, Zeke is on pace for 1,027 in the remaining nine regular season games. That's on top of the 799 yards he already has through the first seven.
Ezekiel Elliott is on track for 1,826 yards as rookie in the National Football League. The rookie rushing record is 1,808. Emmitt Smith ran for 937 yards his rookie season.
Seth Joyner might just be onto something... Putting things in perspective shows just how truly special Ezekiel Elliott has been.
Emmitt Smith himself even projected Elliott's career to be special, just as soon as he received his jersey on the NFL Draft stage. And don't forget, Elliott's #21 jersey is already calling the Hall of Fame home.
@jfo1229a he's better
There's no better running back in the NFL. Right now, Ezekiel Elliott is it, and the league is taking notice of this star-studded rookie.
Comment below with your thoughts on Ezekiel Elliott, Emmitt Smith, the first place Dallas Cowboys, or anything else! You can also email me directly anytime at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com.
Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal
At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.
The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.
Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.
Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.
A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.
Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.
Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders
Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.
Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.
To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.
In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.
Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.
Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.
Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.
Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.
Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
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