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Ezekiel Elliott Lands on Pro Football Network’s Top 100

Things haven't always gone smoothly for the ' number four overall pick in the 2016 . But they have been productive. has two rushing titles to his resume (2016 and 2018). He ran for another 1,300 yards in 2019, finishing fourth in the NFL.

He's been one of the most productive running backs in the game since coming out of college. In the , when he was suspended for six games, Elliott nearly rushed for a thousand yards. It's likely he would have contended for a that season.

2020 was the first time that Elliott played at least 15 games and not rush for 1,000 yards. But that's an indictment of the that played six different players at , two different centers, and three different guards, throughout the season.

Prior to 's , Elliott had rushed for 364 yards on 89 carries. He was on pace for 1,165 yards rushing for the season.

Despite the revolving door along the offensive line and at , Elliott still somehow managed four yards per carry on the season.

Elliott has always found a way to make something out of nothing and even though 2020 was disappointing for the entire , the Cowboys star continues to be productive. Pro Football Network is working through their top 100 players as we get ready for the . Ezekiel Elliott comes in at number 88.

Fitting really.

Ezekiel Elliott has always shown an innate ability to do something with nothing. His vision and patience allow him to make positive gains even when it looks like he's going to be stopped for a two or three-yard loss.

If there's an area where Elliott has struggled it's protecting the football. Ezekiel Elliott has averaged 4.2 fumbles lost per season in his career. In two of the last three seasons, he's lost six fumbles. The Cowboys can't have Elliott coughing it up and giving extra possessions to the opposing team. Not with this .

This Elliott's worked to improve his agility and quickness with the hopes of returning to the top of the rushing standings. If Elliott is able to improve that aspect of his game to go with his great vision and power, it should result in more big plays this season.

As the Dallas Cowboys have evolved offensively and brought more of a vertical passing attack to the offense, the hope is to get leads on teams and allow Elliott to grind out the clock. Because of turnovers and a porous defense in 2020, that never came to fruition. But hopefully with better injury luck in 2020 and an improved defense, Elliott will get the opportunity to play in more neutral or leading situations this season.

For the Dallas Cowboys, getting Ezekiel Elliott back to leading the league in rushing will mean they're playing with a lot of leads. Elliott running with a lead will lead to a lot of wins. Despite some questions on the defensive side, the Cowboys come into 2021 with winning expectations and Ezekiel Elliott will be a big part of meeting those expectations.

 

John Williams
John Williamshttps://anchor.fm/inside-the-cowboys
Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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VAM

I don’t get it. Should not EE CONSTANTLY be trying to improve his “agility and quickness”?

First three years, he actually had some long speed and some elusiveness, but last two years, pretty much none. Anyone watching the games would come to this conclusion.

Would be great if EE can get back to his early career ability . Hope I’m wrong, but I have doubts. He ran for a ton of yards at Ohio State, and then early in his career with Cowboys. That can take a lot out of a RB, even at his somewhat younger age. Can he rejuvenate himself back to that superior level? I HOPE SO, because he was the total package, and as a long time Cowboy fan, it would give us a huge boost overall. Especially when its time to grind out a long drive to seal a win or giving the D a long break. We’ll see soon enough.

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