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Ezekiel Elliott Dangerously Close to Missing 1,000-Yard Mark in 2020

Since entering the NFL in 2016, has had at least 1,000 rushing yards every year except for his -shortened . But 2020 is potentially a new reality for Zeke where he could miss 1,000 yards based on on-field performance over off-the-field issues. He only has two weeks left to clinch that seasonal milestone.

Elliott currently has 832 rushing yards in 13 games in 2020. He sat out of last week's victory over the 49ers with a calf and now needs 168 yards in two weeks to clinch the 1,000-yard mark.

Asking Zeke to get 84 yards a game would have been small potatoes during the first three years of his career; he averaged over 100 as a rookie and in the mid-90s from 2017-2018. But his 2019 average for rushing yards was only 84.8, and that has plummeted to just 64 rushing yards per game this season.

So yes, hard as it is to believe, even a fully healthy Ezekiel Elliott could struggle to rush for that kind of yardage in these final two 2020 regular-season games.

Some of this has to do with 's ascension to in 2019 and a more pass-focused attack from the days. But the regression in 2020 is much more about the decimation of Dallas' due to and losing 's consistently potent passing threat.

Before Dak went down, Elliott had between 89-96 rushing yards in three of the Cowboys' first five games. Since then, outside of one 100-yard outburst against the , Zeke hasn't had more than 77 yards in a single game.

It's bad enough that the Cowboys' has been struggling, but now Elliott is nursing this calf injury and hasn't even been fully confirmed for Sunday's game yet. He's still “questionable” and, as we saw last week, could be a late scratch against the Eagles.

Philadelphia's , 23rd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game per Pro Football Reference, would be Zeke's best chance to pick up some ground in the race for 1,000 yards. Dallas' opponent in , the , are currently 6th-best in .

Obviously, there are bigger issues for the right now than whether or not Ezekiel Elliott hits 1,000 rushing yards in 2020. But it's something that could be talked about if Zeke's career eventually merits consideration; one of the historical benchmarks that running backs are judged by.

Hopefully, Elliott's health allows him to play and be effective enough to give him a fighting chance at reaching 1,000 rushing yards this season.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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