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Ezekiel Elliott Responds To Anonymous Coach’s Criticism

Since entering the NFL as the 4th overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2016 draft Ezekiel Elliott has been arguably the best running back in the sport. This week the crew at ESPN has been ranking the top 10 players at each position.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler put out a piece on the top 10 running backs for 2020. Elliott was ranked 3rd on the list behind Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants and Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers. One anonymous coach, however, had a different view of Elliott, ranking him the 11th-best running back in the NFL.

“Very few breakout runs, doesn’t look as strong anymore. Feels like he’s about 60 to 70 percent of what he was.”

Locked On Cowboys host Marcus Mosher pointed out this particular critique, and Elliott quickly responded.

Whoever this is, is faded lol.”

That response was a clever one on Elliott’s part. Almost two weeks ago while live streaming, Elliott admitted to being “low-key faded” after having a few drinks.

It isn’t hard to understand why Elliott would scoff at such a statement. Even in a “down year” by some critic’s standards, Elliott was once again very productive. He finished with 1,357 yards (4th), 12 rushing touchdowns (tied for 4th), 1,777 all-purpose yards (2nd), and seven 100-yard games (tied for 1st). When factoring in Dak Prescott’s near franchise-record 4,902 passing yards and both Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup each going over 1,100 yards it makes Elliott’s numbers even more impressive.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but it’s clear to see that Elliott is still one of the league’s top running backs and certainly a lot higher than the 11th best.

What do you think?

Matthew Lenix

Written by Matthew Lenix

I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.

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  1. “Everyone is entitled to their opinion but it’s clear to see that Elliott is still one of the league’s top running backs and certainly a lot higher than the 11th best.”

    I find this statement to be quite humorous. No, it isn’t “…clear to see that Elliott is a lot higher than the 11th best.” That is your opinion. The eyeball test indicates that Zeke was “clearly” better as a rookie than he was last year. Will he return to earlier form? For the answer to that question, we will just have to look back from some point in the future. In my opinion, which is absolutely fact, the anonymous coach may be right.

    • Yeah, because finishing in the top 4 in yards and touchdowns, 2nd in all-purpose yards, and 1st in 100 yard games doesn’t indicate that. Pretty uneducated statement on your part. Wasn’t as good as his rookie year? Um you do realize he had 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns right? That’s not a season you’re gonna see every year from a back in the NFL, that’s unrealistic. Good day!

  2. Matthew I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask the question has Zeke lost a little bit. No one is implying that he is washed up and common sense tells u he is way better then the 11th best back in the league. Did he have alot of yds from scrimmage last yr u bet but he also had the 2nd most rushing attempts so u expect more yds. More telling to me is that he ranked (21ST) in the league in avg yds per attempt (4.5) 21st. Now granted the online had some issues last yr which factors in. I know alot if people will be critical for me even posing the question. But I don’t think I’m alone in what we see with our own eyes. I would like nothing better then to see him come into the season in great shape and dominate like he did his rookie yr (5,1) per rush behind the best online in the league. I’ll gladly eat crow if he does.

  3. Matthew I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask the question has Zeke lost a little bit. No one is implying that he is washed up and common sense tells u he is way better then the 11th best back in the league. Did he have alot of yds from scrimmage last yr u bet but he also had the 2nd most rushing attempts so u expect more yds. More telling to me is that he ranked (21ST) in the league in avg yds per attempt (4.5) 21st. Now granted the online had some issues last yr which factors in. I know alot if people will be critical for me even posing the question. But I don’t think I’m alone in what we see with our own eyes. I would like nothing better then to see him come into the season in great shape and dominate like he did his rookie yr (5,1) per rush behind the best online in the league. I’ll gladly eat crow if he does.

    • The problem with what you’re saying is that he played with a near 5,000 yard QB and two 1,100 yard receivers, and still had almost 1,400 yards and double-digit touchdowns. Zeke is still Zeke, you can’t expect him to be what he was his rookie year. He’s in his 5th season, with tons of weapons around him. If he keeps getting his 1,300-1,400 yards and double-digit touchdowns like he’s averaged for his career what can you be complaining about? He’s still that guy period.

      • I think Zeke is what he’s always been. His rookie year was a tad of an outlier (but still fully within a repeat performance) in that he and Prescott caught teams off-guard, and is crazy as it sounds, Linehan was genius in his usage of them both that season … as well as the OL being in it’s absolute prime.

        Its always easy to look at stats and make them speak to an argument of your choosing. I believe the problem with Zeke in recent years was soley on the staff (whether Garrett, Linehan, or Moore). It’s one thing to face 8 defenders in-the-box, but its another entirely to telegraph to the play to them as well.

        That same coach that suggested Zeke ranks #11 on the list will be game-planning him the week they prepare to face the Cowboys! I

        I also don’t question his “explosion” because that implies he has a gear, ala Pollard, that he just never had. Having 4 runs over 20 yards doesn’t always imply one has lost speed. It could just as easily means defenses have adjusted, OL play has diminished, play calling is poor, etc.

        Zeke’s explosion is how he bounces off tackles, not how he gets around them. I’m sure his body is starting to wear to some degree, but I never saw anything that told me he is less of a back than he ever was. (Just my opinion anyway). I like the idea that perhaps these kind of stories is maybe giving him a bit of a chip and he’ll show you all that he’s the Zeke we know. If he loses anything, I hope it’s the “feed me” celebration!

    • You do realize that he was running into 8 man boxes pretty much every time he got the ball in his hands right…. Plus the defenses he ran against admitted that they knew what plays they were calling when they lined up to run them!! Which was something he didn’t have to deal with in his rookie year!! That’s why he had less yards per attempt this past year than in his rookie year, not to mention the fact that the o-line wasn’t near as good as they were in his rookie year either!! Plus if you were paying attention you would see that he got better as the season went on, the reason he started slow is because he missed all of training camp and he missed all of preseason too and didn’t come in to the team facility until a couple days before week 1!! This season he’ll be there for every practice and preseason game that he’s able to go to, so he’ll be better this season…. If there is a season!! All of you people try putting him down because you know how to look up some stats, but it’s obvious you don’t pay attention to why his stats turned out that way…. Zeke is still Zeke, he just had everything playing against him last season…. Some of it was his fault (missing training camp and preseason) but the rest he couldn’t help…. Nobody can run against a defense that has set up an 8 man box to stop the run…. Especially when that defense knows exactly where your gonna be running, and even more when your running behind a poor offense!! This season will be different, we won’t have the same old predictable offense and we will have too many receivers for the defense to watch out for, so they won’t be able to load the box on Zeke!!

  4. Yea hope he reads this article and it motivates him then my job is done all good points guys and ur right Bill the play calling was putrid last yr but these are Just my observations. I hope I’m wrong and I probably am. I will disagree on one point to me he looked more explosive his rookie yr thats just me watching him from my couch.

    • Gary, you seem like a guy who has a good eye for the game, and I would suggest that it does appear he lost some explosion. But I think its a result of his rookie year he having 1-3 more steps before confronting a defender, which allows you a head of steam and a crease he hasn’t been able to get lately.

      Here’s to just hoping we get to watch him this year!

  5. He’s not hungry anymore he doesn’t have that hunger he doesn’t have that spoon gesture eating up yards that burst of speed the hurdling over people he must visualize the lane before the ball is hiked and put the NOS on every time. He is growing more every down every play every game every year and the off-season stay out of trouble come on man take advice from Emmitt Smith everybody works hard in the offseason some work harder than others Nike commercial chipping away at the stone piece by piece 4 an amazing art of work creating in the making I believe feeding ZEKE be humble patient and meek

  6. Like u said some of it is his fault. For a player to hold out with TWO YRS left on his contract is unprecedented . He came into the season last yr out of shape and by the time he was in shape the damage had already been done. Then he gets suspended for half the season another yr which screwed another yr for us . When will be held responsible for his own actions? I hear alot of excuses for the highest pd RB in the league. If he finishes 21ST in the league in yds per rush again who’s fault will that be? The oline? The play calling? Jason Garrett? Come into the season in shape and ball out no blaming everybody but urself.

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