The NFL and its fans know what the Dallas Cowboys are all about: feeding Ezekiel Elliott. The whole NFL watching world knows what the Dallas Cowboys want to get going when they take the field for their first offensive series.
Establish the running game so they can have better efficiency when throwing the football. Everything that they do keys off of the running game.
Jane Slater from NFL.com is reporting that Ezekiel Elliott has stated that he’s ready to take on whatever workload the Dallas Cowboys have for him. Even if that means 30-35 carries a game.
He says he is young, has fresh legs and if they want him to carry the ball 30-35 times he’ll take it. #Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott talks with us ahead of Week 1 at Carolina. Elliott also talks about the notion of defenses loading the box against them. https://t.co/J9kojrkpT3
Aside from Elliott’s workload, there’s been a lot of talk this offseason about the offseason departures of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten and how that might affect the running game. Those were two vital components to the Dallas Cowboys passing game for much of the last decade. Most people assume that the Dallas Cowboys passing game is going to drop off a bit because of their absence and by extension the running game as well.
As Ezekiel Elliott mentions, the absences of Witten and Bryant don’t change opposing defenses approach to stopping the Dallas Cowboys.
Since the Dallas Cowboys ran the ball down the throats of opposing defenses in 2014 en route to winning 12 games, the NFL knows what the Dallas Cowboys are all about.
Running the football.
Especially while sharing the backfield with a young quarterback, Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive line has been forced to run against eight and nine man boxes with regularity. It hasn’t slowed them down.
In 2016 with a rookie quarterback in Dak Prescott, the Dallas Cowboys were second in the NFL in rushing.
Despite down seasons from Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Cole Beasley, the Dallas Cowboys were second in the NFL in rushing again in 2017. The Dallas Cowboys were second in the league despite missing Tyron Smith for three games and Ezekiel Elliott for six games.
For his career, Elliott has averaged 22.6 carries per game over the 25 games he’s played in his first two seasons. There’s been no signs of fading in games in which he’s had big workloads. There seems to be an ability to take on more than what the Dallas Cowboys have given him thus far.
In his career he’s only gone over 30 carries twice and received 25 carries in eight of his 25 games. The Dallas Cowboys coaching staff seems reluctant to overload him. Elliott doesn’t seem too concerned if the coaching staff flips the script and begins relying on him for 30 carries a game more often.
Could week one versus the Panthers see a change in how the Dallas Cowboys work Ezekiel Elliott? It’s possible, but I bet he stays around his 20-25 carries per game, which has been more common for him in his career.
Ezekiel Elliott has a great shot at leading the league in rushing in 2018 and if he begins to approach 30 carries a game on a regular basis, he may be able to break Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record.
Elliott is certainly going to get a lot of carries, but game script and situation will determine just how many carries Elliott gets this Sunday. For Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys their run to the playoffs and hopefully a sixth Super Bowl Trophy starts Sunday.