You win your division you automatically make the playoffs in the NFL, it’s that simple. It’s something the Dallas Cowboys have grown accustomed to since 2014, with three NFC East crowns over that span.
Since 2016, the Cowboys have run through the division with All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott leading the way. This past Monday night was another tour de force by the Elliott in Metlife Stadium vs the New York Giants.
Dak Prescott threw an interception on the games first play that set up a field goal and gave the Giants the early momentum. The Cowboys next drive started with three consecutive passes by Prescott putting the Cowboys in field goal range. The next four plays saw Elliott establish himself picking up 25 yards setting the Cowboys up inside the 15 which led to a field goal.
The Cowboys went on a 10 play drive that unfortunately ended in a missed field goal on their next possession. Elliott, however, continued his momentum picking up 18 more yards on four carries.
After gaining 10 yards on the Cowboys next drive Elliott and company found themselves down 12-3 with just under three minutes to go before the half. Elliott rushed for another 27 yards on just three carries as the Cowboys went on a six-play 75-yard drive that was capped off by a 42-yard touchdown by Tight End Blake Jarwin.
About halfway through the third quarter, Giants rookie signal-caller Daniel Jones fumbled setting the Cowboys up in good field position at the 39-yard line. Elliott gained 29 yards on another three carries before a Brett Maher field goal increased the Cowboys lead to 16-12.
Back to back touchdowns by Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper blew the game open and Elliott wasn’t needed much after that. He finished the game with 139 yards on 23 carries. This was Elliott’s fifth 100-yard game of the season and his third in four games against the NFC East (third consecutive 100-yard game overall).
Elliott’s night, according to him, was a relatively easy one as he expressed to reporters after the game.
“It was the easiest 140 yards I’ve ever gained,” Elliott said. “I don’t even know If I broke a tackle at the first level. I just ran inside the scheme. Our offensive linemen just mauled them upfront. Thank them for making it easier on me. You got to love the big fellas.”
Elliott has caused headaches for defenses in the NFC East since entering the NFL in 2016. This was his ninth game over 100 yards in the last 12 he’s played in against the division and his 10th in 17 career division games. More importantly, the Cowboys are 14-3 with Elliott against the NFC East.
The Cowboys are 4-0 within the division so far this season. Elliott has two more cracks (maybe one if a playoff berth is clinched) at continuing to cause sleepless nights for NFC East defensive coordinators. If history is any indication, you can expect Elliott to continue his dominance every time a division opponent is on the opposing sideline.