There aren't many things in life that come easy. Life is about change, whether it's your own personal situation or a certain circumstance that you find yourself in. It's how we handle those particular instances that end up defining us as individuals.
Trust me, I know all about how in one instant we think we have our lives all figured out, only to be swept off our feet to see our world flipped upside down by some life altering situation.
I have personally gone from an independent individual that was ready to take life by the horns, to becoming someone who is confined to a wheelchair dependent on others for the simplest everyday task.
I've rolled with the punches and done the best I can given my situation, and frankly I expect nothing less from everybody else.
Now, I'm not going to sit here and say that going from an able-bodied individual to a person confined to a wheelchair was the easiest of transitions to make, because I would be lying. It was a huge learning process that will probably never end, but that's just part of living. Right?
We've all had our different experiences with the learning process, and I think that is exactly what the Dallas Cowboys' rookie running back has been experiencing these first two weeks of the 2016 NFL season.
Ezekiel Elliott has had enormous expectations placed on him to come in and take the Cowboys running game to new heights. Something Elliott has admittedly not shied away from.
Elliott has been mentioned as a favorite to win rookie of the year and quite possibly NFL MVP, but I think it's time we curb our expectations just a little bit.
Dallas Cowboys fans, Ezekiel Elliott could turn out to be everything we had hoped for, but I think if we have learned anything over these first two regular-season games, it's that Elliott may need time to adjust to the NFL.
I think we all expected Elliott to literally hit the ground running after witnessing what he was able to accomplish in college while playing at Ohio State.
Elliott was able to put together back to back 1,800+ rushing yard seasons in 2014 and 2015 and scored double digit rushing touchdowns both years. As a Buckeye, Elliott finished his collegiate career with 592 carries for 3,961 rushing yards and 43 rushing touchdowns.
The interesting thing though is that Ezekiel Elliott only had three fumbles in college. Okay, he had a fourth on a punt return, but I don't think that counts.
That's approximately only one fumble for every 200 rushing attempts. That's pretty impressive when you think about it.
So, it was surprising to see Elliott have ball security issues not once, but twice Sunday afternoon against the Washington Redskins. Two fumbles is almost as much is he had in his entire collegiate career.
Fortunately, this doesn't really seem to be a major concern going forward. Mostly because of Ezekiel Elliott's history of being able to hang on to the ball.
I think it's all part of the learning process.
Elliott will learn that defensive players in the NFL are going to do their best to pry the ball away on every single play. He will simply have to have better awareness going forward.
Elliott will also learn the intricacies of playing the running back position in the NFL. It may take a little longer than we may have liked, but it will happen.
So, I wouldn't worry too much about the fact that Ezekiel Elliott only has 134 rushing yards in two games. I know we all would've hoped that is what he would be averaging per game, but let's just let the process play out a little longer.
I mean, he has already shown improvement from Week 1 to Week 2. That's just a one week time span. Let's not forget he missed a lot of practice time and preseason due to injury.
I guess what I'm getting at, is Ezekiel Elliott has all the talent in the world to be a really good running back in the NFL, but he is still learning the intricacies of the position at this level.
Do you agree or disagree?
Please feel free to take advantage of the comment section below to voice your opinion. I would love to hear what you think.
Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp
The Dallas Cowboys patience with Defensive End Randy Gregory has paid off. Suspended for the better part of 2016 and all of 2017, Gregory has officially been reinstated to join the team for their 2018 training camp. The projected starter at RDE, Gregory will report to Oxnard with the rest of the team on July 25th.
From here, it will be all hard work for Gregory to reconnect with Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli and get his promising career back on track. The last time Gregory suited up for the Cowboys, he managed to sack Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz in a week 17 win. The Cowboys will be expecting much more of this from a player they've supported through multiple violations of the league's heavily criticized substance abuse policy.
Cowboys pass-rusher Randy Gregory's petition for reinstatement was not opposed, according to lawyer Daniel Moskowitz. He's back. "I've never been more proud of any individual in my life. I'm very excited for Randy and his daughter and the rest of the his family.
Among this support staff for Gregory were a number of teammates that wrote formal letters to the NFL as part of his bid for reinstatement. These last few days of preparation before the Cowboys are together again as a team will surely be uplifted by Gregory's presence.
They say no news is typically good news at this point in the offseason, something the Cowboys have come to realize far too often. Today's news shouldn't be confused with a pleasant surprise however, rather something the Cowboys were committed to in getting another premier pass rusher on the field.
Here is the NFL's official press release on their reinstatement of Randy Gregory:
Cowboys & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract
DeMarcus Lawrence will definitely be a Cowboy in 2018, but now the future beyond that remains in question. The Dallas Cowboys and their star defensive end did not agree to a long-term contract by today's deadline for franchise-tagged players.
According to NFL rules, teams had until 4:00 pm EST today to reach contract extensions with free agents who'd been assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Players who did not get new deals will have to play the 2018 season on their one-year franchise tenders.
DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys were unable to work out a long-term contract by today's deadline. Lawrence will play the 2018 season under a one-year franchise tag that will pay him $17.1 million
This does not mean Lawrence will be a free agent in 2019. The two parties can still discuss the contract in the months to come, but the deal cannot be made until after the end of the regular season.
Dallas also has the option of giving DeMarcus a second franchise tag next year. However, that would come at a considerably higher price for a second-straight season.
This year, Lawrence will still make plenty with one of the highest cap hits of any DE in the league. He earned the franchise tag last with 14.5 sacks in a breakout season.
Today's news may not really be a big deal in the long run. As long as Tank wants to stay in Dallas after this, the two sides now have over five months to keep talking and will hopefully agree on a new deal for 2019 and beyond.
There is risk on both sides, of course.
Lawrence's leverage could be less if his productions drops or he gets injured. On the other hand, his position could be even stronger with a second-straight year of strong play.
Now everyone, from the team to player to fans, is in wait-and-see mode until the end of the season.
Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make the Roster?
The Dallas Cowboys aren't short on numbers at wide receiver on their current 90-man roster. Looking to replace Dez Bryant and reshape their offense, the Cowboys will have to find the right group of pass catchers for Dak Prescott at their upcoming training camp.
The odd men out from this group will likely be the ones that can't sustain a consistent level of play, doing so across multiple units if needed. All ten receivers will have their flashes, but with only four being true locks to make the team, new Cowboys Wide Receivers Coach Sanjay Lal will be in on some tough decisions right away.
One such decision may be moving on from last year's seventh round pick Noah Brown out of Ohio State. Vouched for by former Buckeyes teammate Ezekiel Elliott thanks to his blocking ability on the outside, it may now be this strength in the run game and deficiency as a pass catcher that spells the end of Brown's run in Dallas.
Normally, a seventh round pick being on the roster bubble wouldn't be this noteworthy, but Brown clearly showed the potential to outplay this draft status as a rookie. Appearing in 13 games, Brown is a true X receiver, although not the dominant one the Cowboys are searching for.
Moving away from fielding a true number one receiver, the Cowboys did sign Allen Hurns to play this spot while prepared to spread the ball around to Williams, Beasley, and Gallup after that.
This leaves Thompson, Wilson, Cannon, Lenoir, McCay, Murdock, and Brown to prove their worth in other ways to make the roster. I've written plenty about the potential rookie Cedrick Wilson has, so I'll be expecting a strong showing from him to earn a role in the Cowboys offense.
Wilson's skill set could push a depth signing like Deonte Thompson off the team, although his ability to back up Cole Beasley/Tavon Austin on special teams is important. The same can be said about Lance Lenoir, who like Brown has the advantage over first year players given his trials through training camp and the preseason a year ago.
Long shots to make the team, Cannon, McCay, and Murdock fall just below this group -- and somewhere in the middle is Noah Brown.
Increasing his role on special teams as the season went on last year, Brown had fans throughout a coaching staff that is now drastically changed for 2018. From their shift to more speed on offense, to drafting of both Gallup and Wilson, calling Brown a fringe player on the Cowboys roster really sets up the fiery competition to come at wide receiver.
Should the Cowboys find a spot for Brown, one can only hope it means this new coaching staff has a clear plan for him to contribute on both offense and special teams outside of being a run blocker. A potential niche for Brown is his red zone ability, not afraid to put his body on the line for jump balls and fight through contact in his routes.
It won't be long until we sort out if this is enough to make the Cowboys as a wide receiver ahead of Quarterback Dak Prescott's third season.
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