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.