The Dallas Cowboys insist they will approach the 2018 season finale against the New York Giants like any other game, despite having already secured their spot in the playoffs. They really have nothing to gain from this contest, but perhaps something to lose. That’s especially true for Running Back Ezekiel Elliott.
With one game remaining in the 2018 regular-season, Ezekiel Elliott is currently the league’s leading rusher. This would be his second rushing title in three years and probably should be his third if not for the six-game suspension he received after the Roger Goodell led witchhunt last year.
Despite the witchhunt, Zeke still led the NFL in rushing yards per game and finished with 983 yards on the ground. It’s not hard to imagine he would’ve easily surpassed Kareem Hunt’s 1,327 rushing yards, which earned him the rushing title last season. After all, that’s less than 400 rushing yards which would’ve been easily reachable in those six games that were stolen from Zeke last year.
Because of what was stolen away from him last season, this year’s rushing title could mean more to Ezekiel Elliott than he would like to let on. He has publicly stated he has his eyes set on a bigger prize than the rushing title, but you can bet earning personal accolades still mean a great deal to him.
Luckily, Zeke already pretty much has this year’s rushing title locked down. He is currently leading the league with 1,434 rushing yards with no one who should challenge that total the last remaining game of the season. He could probably not rush for a single yard against the Giants and still finish as the leagues leading rusher.
Los Angeles Rams Running Back Todd Gurley is currently 183 yards behind Zeke in rushing yards and shouldn’t pose much of a threat. He didn’t play last Sunday and could remain on the sideline this week for precautionary reasons while he recovers from a nagging knee injury. The Rams probably don’t want to rush him back before he’s ready, especially with the way C.J. Anderson performed in his absence.
The next leading rusher behind Ezekiel Elliott and Gurley is Shaquon Barkley, who Dallas will host this week to close out the season. He is currently 236 yards behind Zeke and is going up against a Cowboys defense that held him to 11 carries for just 28 yards in Week 2 earlier this season. He definitely doesn’t pose a threat.
As you can see, Ezekiel Elliott more than likely has his second rushing title locked down already. There is really no incentive in having him play against the Giants this week, especially after him being banged up a bit this season.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we Zeke dressed, but not see him on the field this week. It’s what the Cowboys did two years ago in Week 17 to close out the season. He just so happen to Erin his first rushing title that year with 1,631 rushing yards. History should and hopefully will repeat itself.