It’s strange what you can come across when doing a little research. Sometimes the things you turn up are a pleasant surprise, while others are probably left undiscovered. The latter is what happened to me when I was comparing Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley’s careers to date in the NFL.
Blame it on my curiosity, but I was curious to find out if Ezekiel Elliott’s sudden dip in production in 2020 was anything like what led to Todd Gurley’s release from the Los Angeles Rams last year. Surprisingly enough, the similarities are eerily similar.
If you were to look at how Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley performed while under their rookie contracts you’d discover two absolutely dominant players during that time span. Both players even performed up to standards the year they signed their big money contracts. The season after however is another story.
In 2019, the year after Todd Gurley signed his extension with the Rams, his production took a huge dip. He went from averaging 4.9 yards per carry to 3.8 and 1,251 rushing yards to 857. Believe it or not, but Ezekiel Elliott looks to be following in Gurley’s footsteps.
Ezekiel Elliott averaged 4.5 yards per carry last year, but has dropped to 3.9 this season. It’s also looking as if he’s not going to come anywhere close to the 1,357 rushing yards he accumulated last season. The way things are going right now he will be lucky to hit the 1,000-yard mark this year.
Now, that’s pretty scary to think about from a statistics standpoint. There is no doubt reason to be concerned about No. 21’s lack of production this year, but the Dallas Cowboys don’t need to panic just yet. There are plenty of contributing factors that could explain his down season.
First and foremost all of the injuries to the offensive line and QB Dak Prescott have negatively impacted the running game. Also playing from behind in nearly every game this season didn’t help either, nor did Kellen Moore’s pass happy playcalling. Add it up and there’s still hope for Zeke.
Unlike Todd Gurley, Zeke doesn’t look washed up. Although statistically their careers may look eerily similar No. 21 still looks as if he has plenty of gas left in the tank. That’s great news considering how much the Dallas Cowboys have invested in him and need his services moving forward.
With that in mind, don’t expect the Dallas Cowboys to part ways with Zeke like the Los Angeles Rams with Todd Gurley. He is and will continue to be a big part of the organization for the foreseeable future. Let’s just hope 2020 was just an off year for him.