Ezekiel Elliott is the shiny new toy for the Dallas Cowboys, and their prized possession following a 4-12 season that led to Elliott’s selection with the fourth overall pick.
You can read all about our excitement for Elliott right here (seriously, follow that link to be thrown into a world where Ezekiel Elliott dominates with the Cowboys and everything is right).
However, this article is here to talk about a certain virtual version of Zeke Elliott. EA Sports has begun ranking this rookie draft class through Madden NFL’s Ultimate Team.
Without even factoring in the run blocking grades (or any other grades) for the Cowboys offensive line, it already appears that Elliott will do more than make Giants, Eagles, and Redskins fans throw a remote on Sundays.
If you so happen to meet up with one of these rival fans on Madden, Zeke’s 84 overall grade combined with 91 speed, 94 agility, 95 acceleration, 90 carrying, 87 trucking, and 84 ball carrier vision will have players chucking controllers faster than you’ll be churning out yards on the ground.
As a Madden player myself, the thing that stands out in these ratings is Elliott’s trucking ability. While his speed, agility, and acceleration stats put him up there with the league’s fastest change-of-pace guys, the trucking is what separates Ezekiel into a category of his own and makes him a complete back.
We have all played with speed backs that have nothing but high speed ratings but terrible overall numbers, and the result is often the frustrating reality that – unless given a hole big enough to drive a truck through – you will be going down on first contact more times than not.
Elliott will be able to hit these holes with enough speed to nearly guarantee a positive play every time, and threaten to take them to the house thanks to that trucking number combined with his 84 vision ranking.
While the release date for Madden 17 has not been determined yet, EA Sports will have time to potentially deal with miscalculations in the rankings that lead to unfair game play.
The NBA series of video games, made by 2K Sports, had to make these adjustments on the fly when Steph Curry essentially broke the game. Developers could not balance the formulas and ratings to make a player that was realistic and still fair.
In other words, the video game Steph Curry would miss shots that the real Curry would make, thanks to overcompensation by the game makers. In trying to fix this, they found that the smallest adjustments flipped the switch on Curry from a brick-layer to an absolute cheat code.
For Elliott, this process may be even harder, because he truly is a complete running back prospect that is going to do scary things lined up behind Tony Romo. Even if they knock down a few of his rankings, the Cowboys offensive line in Madden will allow users to still thrive using America’s Team!
So, enjoy your friends’ frustration when you get comfy next to the TV for a game of Madden. He’ll be tense and ready to go, not understanding your comfort level for such a “big” game.
When he loses the opening coin toss and is forced to kick the football off and send out the Cowboys offense, he will quickly learn the agony of trying to slow down Ezekiel Elliott. As you sip your Mountain Dew and grind out yards, the fourth quarter will roll along in no time, and neither you or your opponent will remember the last time his offense was on the field.
Ezekiel Elliott is here to stay, representing Cowboys Nation both on the field and in Madden. Happy gaming everyone!