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Ezekiel Elliott Leads the NFL in Rushing, And Is Just Getting Started

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Ezekiel Elliott Leads the NFL in Rushing, And Is Just Getting Started

On April 28th, the Dallas Cowboys went and got their guy. This was the night of the 2016 NFL Draft, and the Cowboys cashed in their miserable 2015 campaign for RB Ezekiel Elliott - the fourth overall pick out of Ohio State.

Fast forward to September 11th, when Elliott made his regular season debut against the New York Giants, facing immense pressure to live up to all of the hype around this running back prospect stepping in behind the best offensive line in the world. Zeke went for just 51 yards on 20 carries, and we all focused in just a little bit more on the 21 year old.

With an incredibly limited off season and preseason, Elliott picked things up following this week 1 performance on the road against the Redskins, carrying 21 times for 83 yards and another score. The best sign from this game, besides the fact that the Cowboys picked up a much needed win, was that Elliott began to patiently read his blocks and allow plays to develop - unlike his impatient style in the previous game.

Cowboys Nation couldn't help but smile, as we could feel that Ezekiel Elliott was about to break out. The lights were going to be on in week 3 for Sunday Night Football at home against the Bears, and the rookie would be ready.

30 carries. 140 yards. 4.7 Yards Per Carry.

Zeke stole the show by running all over the depleted Bears defense, showcasing just a little bit of his wide range of skills that made him the most complete running back prospect to enter the NFL Draft in years. He was just getting started. 

Cowboys Headlines - Ezekiel Elliott Leads the NFL in Rushing, And Is Just Getting Started 1

On Sunday, Dallas fell behind the 49ers on the road 14-0, their largest deficit of the season. Scott Linehan stuck with his running game, because he knew that Ezekiel Elliott would not be denied behind this offensive line.

He was correct.

Zeke ate up yards all game long, getting stronger in the second half on his way to an average of six yards a carry for 138 yards. Once again, I saw Ezekiel Elliott make another big stride towards becoming the player he was at Ohio State.

His vision, power, decisiveness, and footwork were all at their best this season, as Elliott propelled himself to the league lead in rushing yards - just four games into his Dallas Cowboys' career. That is incredible!

Elliott Still Has Plenty of Room for Improvement.

Do me a favor. Think back to the 2014 Cowboys running game with DeMarco Murray. This shouldn't be too hard, positive thoughts of Murray running through massive lanes are filling your head!

Murray was certainly not a complete back, relying on the blockers in front of him to give him space to accelerate and then succeed at the second level with power and great balance.

As Elliott continues to get to the second level, which he essentially gets a "free pass" to behind this offensive line with good chemistry, he will be able to attack defenders with superior power, balance, and most importantly - speed. 

The element of Zeke's game that has not translated yet from his Ohio State days is the extra gear of breakaway speed that sets up hopeless defenders on Elliott's way to huge gains.

Elliott is still getting his legs under him when it comes to running the rock in the NFL, but the speed is on its way. An entire new element to Elliott's arsenal is going to make the league's leading rusher even better.

Additionally, the Cowboys offensive line is going to continue to feed off of the way Zeke can punish defenses, and they will improve as a run blocking unit for him as the featured back.

Zeke's last two performances have also come with the Dallas offensive line not at full strength, with all-universe LT Tyron Smith inactive in weeks 3 and 4. La'el Collins won't be back on the field for some time after exiting at halftime against the Bears, making way for Ronald Leary to step in next to Chaz Green at left guard.

Elliott is still dominating behind these guys, who have performed well, but #21 has still proven that he was made to be the running back for America's Team.

The Dallas Cowboys featured back is a 21 year old rookie that leads the NFL in rushing after four games, and they're not afraid to use him. Take notice, world.

What have you seen from Ezekiel Elliott so far, and what are you looking for from him as the season goes on? Let us know! Use the comment section below to talk about Zeke Elliott, or email Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com.

Also be sure to click here to revisit my July projections for Ezekiel Elliott as a member of the 2016 Cowboys' triplets - based on Emmitt Smith's rookie numbers adjusted to today's NFL!

Tell us what you think about "Ezekiel Elliott Leads the NFL in Rushing, And Is Just Getting Started" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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REPORT: Cowboys Visiting With Free Agent S Eric Berry Tuesday

Brian Martin

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REPORT: Cowboys Visiting With Free Agent S Eric Berry Tuesday

According to Ian Rapoport, the Dallas Cowboys have a meeting scheduled to visit with Free Agent Safety Eric Berry Tuesday at The Star.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Source: Former #Chiefs S and new free agent Eric Berry is visiting the #Cowboys on Tuesday. His first visit. They have a need there...

Eric Berry has spent his entire career with the Kansas City Chiefs after they drafted him fifth overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. After signing Earl Thomas last week, the Chiefs decided to part ways with their former All-Pro Safety.

Berry, 30 is an intriguing free agent for the Dallas Cowboys. When healthy, he is arguably one of the best safeties in the league. Unfortunately, injuries have kept him off the field these last few seasons causing him to only start in only three games since 2016.

This is a move many of us expected to happen after the Cowboys decided not to get into a bidding war for Earl Thomas, a player linked to Dallas for over a year now. In Berry, Cowboys Nation would be getting a similar player with the same kind of red flags. Both Thomas and Berry have to be approached with caution due to their injury history the past few years.

Depending on his asking price, Eric Berry absolutely makes sense for the Dallas Cowboys. He would be an upgrade over Jeff Heath and would pair well with the Cowboys up-and-coming three-year safety Xavier Woods.

This is still just a visit, so we should probably get our hopes up that a signing is imminent. But, I think we can all agree Eric Berry is exactly the "right kind of guy" Jason Garrett is always preaching about. He's a cancer survivor, five-time Pro Bowler, and All-Pro player. What's not to like!?



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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Signed DE Kerry Hyder

Brian Martin

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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Signed DE Kerry Hyder

The Dallas Cowboys added more defensive line help today after signing former Detroit Lions Defensive End Kerry Hyder.

Kerry Hyder Jr. on Twitter

Going back to Texas! #CowboysNation

Kerry Hyder provides more depth at the defensive end position and as a chance to become the starter opposite DeMarcus Lawrence while Randy Gregory is out serving his suspension.

Hyder, 27 originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech with the New York Jets in 2014. He spent a year in New York before signing a future/reserve contract with the Detroit Lions in January 2015.

He had a breakout eight-sack year with the Lions in 2016, but tore his Achilles in 2017 causing him to miss the entire season. In 2018 he had just one quarterback sack after Detroit switched to a 3-4 defensive scheme.

Overall, this is a good depth signing by the Dallas Cowboys. Kerry Hyder has starting potential, but shouldn't keep the Cowboys from upgrading the position further through either another free agent signing for the draft.



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Chiefs Release Eric Berry, Should Cowboys Be Interested?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Chiefs Release Eric Berry, Should Cowboys Be Interested?

As the Dallas Cowboys still have a glaring need at the safety position, a new name has appeared on the available free agents list, and it's a well known name. The Kansas City Chiefs just released one of the best at the position, Eric Berry. The move by Kansas City is likely salary cap related. The Chiefs had just signed Tyrann Mathieu for a three-year $42M deal. The five-time Pro Bowler will have to find a new home in the NFL.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

Chiefs released five-time Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry. Had Berry been on KC's roster Friday, $7.25 million of his salary would have become fully guaranteed.

The question in many Dallas Cowboys fans minds' right now is pretty obvious. Will the Cowboys be interested? 

Eric Berry is one hell of a football player but injuries have plagued his career lately. Since he suffered a torn Achilles in 2017, Berry hasn't been the same player as before. In the past two seasons, the 30 year old safety has played in only three games.

Field Yates on Twitter

Eric Berry's tenure with the Chiefs: * 88 games played * 445 tackles * 50 PBU * 14 INT * 5 TD score * 5X Pro Bowler * 3X First Team All Pro More importantly: a cancer survivor who returned to the field and inspired countless people along the way.

Berry would be a nice fit for the Dallas Cowboys' defense to pair with Xavier Woods. However, the front office has already passed on many available safeties. For Berry to come to Dallas, the price would have to be right. It's tough to imagine where Berry's value would land in such a busy safety market. Both Landon Collins and Earl Thomas have signed big time contracts.

Age and injury history could be factors that drop Berry's price to a number that the front office would be interested in. I honestly would be surprised if he got top money today. A contract with little guaranteed money could get the Cowboys involved.

mike fisher ✭ on Twitter

Chiefs cut S Eric Berry. I'm told #Cowboys will investigate ... but recent serious health issues and inactivity - Berry is great story as a cancer survivor - mean LOTS of research is merited.

Mike Fisher took to Twitter to say the Cowboys will investigate the newest safety in the market.

The Cowboys have already seen Earl Thomas and others sign contracts elsewhere and while their free agency philosophy is clear at the moment, I believe it'd be a mistake to leave the need for a safety unattended until late April. There are quite a few options out there the team should explore.

Whether it's Eric Berry or another player such as Tre Boston, Andrew Sendejo or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Cowboys should sign a starting safety and leave the draft picks for other positions.

Tell me what you think about "Chiefs Release Eric Berry, Should Cowboys Be Interested?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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