Los Dallas Cowboys han extrañado mucho a su corredor estrella durante las últimas seis semanas. Y ahora, Ezekiel Elliott está de vuelta. Y esta vez, cuando el #21 tome el campo, no estará envuelto en dramas involucrando investigaciones o apelaciones. Esta vez, será libre.
Después de cumplir su castigo impuesto por el comisionado Roger Goodell, Zeke buscará dominar dentro del campo cuando se enfrente contra los Seattle Seahawks. Pero, ¿dónde estuvo Elliott todo este tiempo? ¿En fiestas? ¿Durmiendo?
A pesar de su fama de fiestero, Ezekiel Elliott realmente estuvo más concentrado que nunca. Estuvo seis semanas entrenando intensamente en Cabo, México. No sólo entrenó físicamente, sino se reunió con mentores (sabemos, por ejemplo, de su reunión con Erick Dickerson) para intentar mejorar en varios aspectos de su vida.
¿Será que Elliott aprendió y maduro durante su exilio?
Quizá nunca lo sabremos, pero personalmente pienso que la NFL suspendió a Zeke por cuestiones de su propia agenda y no porque quisiera justicia. Fue un caso muy mal manejado por parte de Goodell y todos lo sabemos. Incluso aficionados a otros equipos.
Sin embargo, no podemos negar que desde su estancia en Ohio State, Elliott siempre fue muy alegre y en veces, inmaduro. Definitivamente sería increíble ver cierta madurez en un joven que se ha convertido en una cara para la franquicia de los Dallas Cowboys.
Y si de por sí es una amenaza en el campo, será muy interesante ver como se ve una vez que esté más enfocado que nunca. Por cierto, si creen que Elliott estará fuera de forma, aquí está una foto de como se ve hoy.
After 6 weeks of training thanks to a NFL-mandated suspension, this is what #Cowboys RB Zeke Elliott looks like now:
En su tiempo entrenando, Elliott grabó un documental en el que se dice que compartirá su versión de la historia. Obviamente, será algo que todos vamos a querer ver. Puede que esté equivocado, pero puede que la foto anterior incluso nos diga el nombre del documental: "42 Days."
¿Arreglará Elliott la Ofensiva de Dallas?
A pesar de tener buenos resultados las últimas tres semanas, los Cowboys no han sido lo mismo sin Ezekiel Elliott. Aún con Alfred Morris y Rod Smith que tuvieron sus buenos momentos, ninguno de los dos se pudo acercar al nivel de uno de los mejores corredores en la liga actualmente.
Completamente comprensible, por supuesto. El nivel que tiene Zeke es un nivel muy especial y exclusivo en la NFL. Pero, ¿qué tanta diferencia hará Elliott? Al final de cuentas, Morris corrió para 127 yardas contra los Redskins, ¿o no?
A pesar de que eso es correcto, Zeke hará toda la diferencia del mundo. Sin Elliott, las defensivas contrarias no tenían a quien temer de la ofensiva de los Cowboys. Ni siquiera Dez Bryant causaba miedo. Ni Cole Beasley.
Pero con el #21 de vuelta, eso puede cambiar. A pesar de ser un corredor, la ayuda que brinda al equipo va más allá del juego terrestre. Cuando los oponentes le tengan miedo a la corrida, y carguen la caja, entonces los receptores podrán crear separación, lo cuál no hará más que mejorar el juego aéreo en Dallas.
Sin mencionar las posibilidades de play action (fintas de corrida que resultan en pase) y las posibilidades de rolar al QB, cosas en las que Dak Prescott ha hecho un excelente trabajo en su corta carrera.
Vimos a Todd Gurley de los Rams abusar de la defensiva de Seattle, y Elliott probablemente hará lo mismo este domingo.
Ezekiel Elliott hará una diferencia enorme en la ofensiva de los Dallas Cowboys mayor a la que esperamos. Impactará el juego aéreo tanto el terrestre e incluso ayudará a la defensiva a descansar.
Lógicamente, Dallas depende de otros resultados en la NFC para entrar a playoffs, pero mínimo sabemos que tienen todo para irse 2-0 las últimas dos semanas de la temporada.
Redskins Have Not Had Success With Former Cowboys
Now that he's signed with the Washington Redskins, cornerback Orlando Scandrick joins a lackluster list of former Cowboys players and coaches who have gone from Dallas to its historic rival. The history of these moves is ugly for Washington, going back over 40 years, and can't have their fans too excited anytime they sign an ex-Cowboy.
The most recent example was just last year with defensive tackle Terrell McClain. After a strong season as a 15-game starter in Dallas, McClain got a four-year, $21 million deal to join the Redskins. He missed four games with injuries and was only credited with two starts; hardly what the team wanted given the money they paid.
Before him it was Jason Hatcher, whose 11-sack season for the Cowboys in 2013 got him a four-year, $27.5 million deal from Washington. Hatcher would battle knee injuries for two season, getting only 7.5 sacks from 2014-2015. His early retirement in 2016 brought an abrupt end to a disappointing tenure.
Continuing the legacy of defensive linemen was Stephen Bowen, who Washington paid a shocking amount of money ($27.5 million over five years) to in 2011 to pick up in free agency. Bowen had a great first year for the Redskins with six sacks and 16 starts, but injuries would soon cost him 14 games from 2013-2014. He was eventually released after only one standout season in four with the team.
Going back even further, DT Brandon Noble joined Washington in 2003 after being a full-time starter for Dallas for over two seasons. He would miss all of 2003 with a knee injury, have an unimpressive year in 2004, and then missed all of 2005 with more health issues. He retired after being released by the Redskins in 2006.
Orlando Scandrick won't be the first cornerback to go from Dallas to Washington, or the best. At age 32, Deion Sanders was released in 2000 by the Cowboys and then got a huge seven-year, $56 million deal from the Redskins. This came less than a year after Daniel Snyder bought the franchise and was desperate to get them relevant again.
The Sanders move backfired horribly. Even after a solid season by his lofty standards, Primetime was disgruntled with both the coaching staff and his increasing struggles as an aging player. He suddenly retired after just one season of the seven-year contract.
Washington also tried to tap into the Cowboys' glory days when they signed receiver Alvin Harper in 1997. Harper had left Dallas in 1995 and spent two years with Tampa Bay, but had not carried over the same success he enjoyed playing in the Dallas offense.
The Redskins hoped that reuniting him with Norv Turner, who had been Harper's offensive coordinator and was now their head coach, would help Alvin get back to form. But between ongoing injuries and the absence of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith as teammates, Alvin Harper was never the same guy as when he won two Super Bowls in Dallas.
The failed poaching attempts go back many more decades, another one being running back Calvin Hill. The fourth-leading rusher in Cowboys history and a four-time Pro Bowler while in Dallas, Hill joined Washington in 1976. He served as a backup only, averaging only 3.8 yards-per-carry as he played behind the likes of Mike Thomas and John Riggins.
The bad history doesn't stop with players. The aforementioned Norv Turner, who was one of the hottest assistant coaches in history after the Cowboys first two Super Bowl wins in the 90s, was hired as the Redskins' head coach in 1994.
Turner's run started with a whimper, drafting quarterback Heath Shuler third overall in that first year. Shuler would go down as one of the biggest QB busts in NFL history
Norv's Redskins never seemed to recover from that blunder. He only had two winning seasons and one playoff appearance from 1994-1999, and was fired midway through the 2000 season.
Far more recently, Cowboys offensive line coach Bill Callahan left the team in 2015 and took the same job in Washington. He didn't get to bring the offensive line or DeMarco Murray with him, though. As such, the Redskins have remained one of the league's worst rushing teams for the last three seasons. They fell to a new low of 28th in the NFL in 2017.
~ ~ ~
Of course, none of this means that Orlando Scandrick won't have success in Washington. But with the Redskins generally the most mismanaged team in the NFC East, all of the Dallas players and coaches who've gone there have not walked into good situations. For all that Cowboys fans love to complain about Jerry Jones, he handles the owner and GM roles better than any pair Washington's had in almost 30 years.
Given the nature of the rivalries, we naturally can't wish success for Scandrick or anyone else who leaves Dallas for a division opponent. With the track record we just discussed for Washington, it's not something I'll be losing any sleep over.
Xavier Woods, the Real Reason Cowboys Didn’t Pursue Tyrann Mathieu?
It's not uncommon for Dallas Cowboys fans to zero in on certain free agents in hopes that they will bring their talents to America's Team. In fact, just about any "big name" player to hit the open market is often linked to the Cowboys in some way or another. That was the case when the Arizona Cardinals decided to move on from Tyrann Mathieu.
Once Tyrann Mathieu became available, Cowboys fans immediately wanted to see him with a star on his helmet. But, despite the fans petitioning, the Cowboys brass seemed to show almost zero interest in the former Cardinal.
The decision to not pursue Tyrann Mathieu certainly didn't sit well with a lot of Cowboys Nation, but I think it was the right decision.
Despite Mathieu's perceived talents and youth (he's just 25), the Cowboys weren't interested in paying the price to bring him to Dallas, especially since they already have a similar player on their roster.
It may sound crazy, but I think the real reason the Dallas Cowboys didn't show much interest in Tyrann Mathieu is because of Xavier Woods.
I honestly believe Xavier Woods and Tyrann Mathieu have a similar skill set. Both players are little undersized to be a full-time safety in the NFL, but each of them have the versatility to play several different roles in the secondary.
Mathieu may have been listed as a safety on the Arizona Cardinals roster, and now the Houston Texans, but the truth is he played mostly out of the nickel/slot in his professional and collegiate career. That is where he is at his best, and the same can be said about Xavier Woods.
As a rookie, Xavier Woods showed his versatility with the Dallas Cowboys by playing a variety of different roles in the secondary. His versatility was one of the reasons the Cowboys decided to trade up in last year's draft to acquire his services.
His name might not carry the same kind of weight as Tyrann Mathieu right now around the league or amongst NFL fans, but I don't think Xavier Woods is that much of a drop off talent wise.
Personally, I believe Mathieu is starting to decline a little as a player. I think injuries are starting to take a toll on his play, although it may be minimal. I actually prefer Xavier Woods' upside, especially when you take into account the difference in salaries between the two.
Surprisingly enough, Xavier Woods might just have been more productive in 2017 then Mathieu. Woods started just four games and finished the season with 42 tackles, three passes defensed, and one interception. Mathieu on the other hand started all 16 games and accumulated 78 tackles, one quarterback sack, one forced fumble, and two interceptions.
As you can see, Xavier Woods was almost just as productive as Mathieu in nearly a third of the playing time. What's even more impressive about this is that Woods accomplish this as a rookie.
Of course, all of this is speculation, but I for one am not all that upset the Dallas Cowboys missed out on Tyrann Mathieu. I'm willing to bet on Xavier Woods being able to do everything Mathieu can and at a fraction of the cost.
Were the Cowboys right not to pursue Tyrann Mathieu?
Free Agent CB Orlando Scandrick Joining Washington Redskins
Just two days after being released by the Dallas Cowboys, cornerback Orlando Scandrick has found a new home in the nation's capitol. After 10 seasons in Dallas, Scandrick is signing with the rival Washington Redskins.
Redskins and Orlando Scandrick have agreed to a 2-year deal worth a max value of $10M, source said. From Dallas to a rival.
By joining Washington after leaving Dallas, Scandrick follows in the footsteps of many ex-Cowboys: Terrell McClain, Jason Hatcher, Stephen Bowen, and even Deion Sanders to name a few.
Last week, Orlando reportedly requested his release from Dallas. It was widely expected that he would be a salary cap casualty anyway, though, and especially with the young stockpile of cornerbacks the Cowboys currently have.
Dallas has three young corners they believe in with Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Anthony Brown. There is also talk that Byron Jones could be moving back to CB next year.
Scandrick, 31, will get to stay in the NFC East and now cover some of his former teammates. Give the reportedly salary, he should at least be the slot corner for Washington next year if not a starter.
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