As you probably know by now, I am one of the biggest advocates of the Dallas Cowboys drafting a quarterback at fourth overall. However, I don't want them to force the pick. I'm a huge Jared Goff fan so I would love that pick, and if the team loves one of the other quarterbacks, I fully trust their judgment if that is what they want at #4.
However, if the pick is not a quarterback, I am starting to love the idea of Ezekiel Elliott.
Yes, a running back in the top five is something that is looked down upon today. Yes, Elliott is not Todd Gurley. But I can't remember the last time we've seen such a well-rounded talent at running back.
Elliott really can do everything you ask a running back to do.
My biggest concern with 2016 and forward is a contingency plan for Tony Romo getting injured. I am quite concerned about Romo's health and I have serious questions as to how much longer we can expect to see the Tony Romo we know and love.
The Cowboys need to be able to absorb an injury to Tony Romo a little better. They also need to find a way to be a little less Romo-dependent. Other teams had injuries at the quarterback position this season. If the team could have won some games without Tony Romo this could have been a playoff team. If the team could have won some games without Tony Romo he wouldn't have had to rush back like he did.
How do you absorb a Tony Romo injury? Well, some will say you get another wide receiver to make another quarterback's life easier. Some will say you draft a quarterback. Others will say you can sign a guy like Robert Griffin III. I'm thinking a little differently.
I look around the league and the great teams have an identity. They have something that they do really well and everything else runs through it. You can have a great defense that wins the field position battle or forces turnovers for scores. You can have a short passing game that moves quickly down the field and results in little pressure on the quarterback. You can have a QB-option attack where you run, QB run, or throw off of it.
The 2014 Cowboys found great success from this exact strategy. They ran the ball and they ran it often. They ran it down your throat. Through this the passing game opened and allowed Tony Romo to play some really surgical football.
This is what I envision with Ezekiel Elliott.
Bring in a talent like this and make everything about your offensive line and elite running back. You run it a ton with him and when you want to counter off of it, there are few better running backs for pass protection. Elliott also has great hands to go out for passes.
This is where I think this is a different story. Not just the running back, but the team. It doesn't make sense for most teams to use a high pick on a running back. But THIS team with THIS running back is a whole different story. This is the perfect match between player and team that can spell the franchise for years to come.
There is also another side to this story. If you are looking for your quarterback of the future, with this offensive line, Dez Bryant outside and Ezekiel Elliott running, blocking and catching, you give your quarterback everything he needs for success. There would be zero excuses. There would be no easier situation for a quarterback to enter into. You carve the perfect situation for your young quarterback to enter into.
I normally wouldn't approve of something like this, but THIS team at THIS time with THIS player is just a perfect situation.
In a perfect world you trade down a little, pick up some picks and put yourself in the sweet spot for Elliott, but the board may fall to where Ezekiel Elliott at fourth overall makes a whole lot of sense…