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Ezekiel Elliott: Rushing Towards Rookie Glory

Jess Haynie

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Ezekiel Elliott

Through eight games in his rookie season, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has 891 rushing yards. Zeke has led the league for several weeks now, but a few backs are not far behind.

  1. Cowboys Headlines - Ezekiel Elliott Is Probably Better Than Emmitt Smith, and the NFC East Is Noticing 1Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys) - 891 yards
  2. DeMarco Murray (Titans) - 807 yards
  3. Melvin Gordon (Chargers) - 768 yards
  4. David Johnson (Cardinals) - 705 yards

The only problem for Murray and Gordon is that their total has come in nine games, having not yet had their bye weeks. Elliott has already had his bye week and has an extra game to continue to build his lead.

Running games tend to slow down toward the end of the year. Even when Murray was breaking the Cowboys' single-season record in 2014, his production tapered off down the stretch. As players start to get worn down over the long season, their numbers go down accordingly.

This is where Elliott's youth will play a huge advantage, particularly with Murray. At 21-years-old and as a rookie, he has much fresher legs than Murray at age 28 and in his sixth season. Gordon and Johnson are both just in their second years and are still young, but still have more tire tread than Zeke.

Perhaps even more importantly, Elliott has the Cowboys offensive line. As the season goes on and physical explosiveness starts to wane in defenders, the talent and chemistry of a good offensive line can shine even more. The Cowboys' ability to dominate the ball and wear down defenses throughout games will be even more effective in November and December.

Yesterday, DeMarco Murray had just 54 yards in a loss to the Chargers. David Johnson had an even worse day, only 24 yards, in Arizona's loss to the Panthers. These guys, Melvin Gordon, and just about any RB in the league are more likely to have a slow week like that than Ezekiel Elliott is. It only takes a couple to sink you in the rushing race.

Elliott is still threatening Eric Dickerson's rookie record of 1,808 yards. If you double his current 891-yard total it comes out to 1,782 yards. However, that doesn't factor in Elliott's quiet first game of 51 yards. His current pace puts his projection for the season closer to 1,900 yards.

Cowboys Headlines - Ezekiel Elliott's Smooth Path to 2016 Rushing Title 1Speaking of records, Elliott will soon be the Cowboys best rookie rusher of all time. And when I say "soon," I could mean this Sunday. He only needs 117 yards against the Steelers to set the new record.

  1. Tony Dorsett (1977) - 1007 yds
  2. Calvin Hill (1969) - 942 yds
  3. Emmitt Smith (1990) - 937 yds
  4. DeMarco Murray (2011) - 897 yards

If not in Pittsburgh, Elliott will almost certainly pass Dorsett's mark the following week against the Baltimore Ravens. He is on pace for Dickerson's league record and to become one of the few rookies to lead the NFL in rushing.

The numbers will drive national attention, but Zeke's greatness is on display even when he's not breaking 100 yards. Yesterday, we saw him eek out a touchdown with a reach over the goal line that few back could have accomplished. His ability to finish plays with either speed or power is rare.

Back in April, I questioned if Elliott could live up to being the fourth-overall pick. Even if he had big numbers, I thought he might not create enough distance between guys like DeMarco Murray or Darren McFadden to justify such a big investment.

Boy, was I wrong.



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur

Jess Haynie

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L.P. Ladouceur

L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.

Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e

Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.

Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.

Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.



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REPORT: Police Detain Cowboys DL Tyrone Crawford After Bar Fight

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford Kicked Off Thursday Flight

According to TMZ, Tyrone Crawford was involved in a brawl at a bar in Panama City, FL last Friday night. The Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman and team captain was detained by police but apparently was not arrested.

The level of Crawford's involvement has not been substantiated, but TMZ's report does have him shoving police officers at some point in the action. The incident was reportedly captured by surveillance equipment at the bar.

Given that he was not arrested, one could assume that Tyrone was not one of the primary players in the melee. But that doesn't mean the NFL won't still review this matter as it relates to the personal conduct policy, and Cowboys fans know too well how "fair" that process can be.

This is certainly not a story you'd expect to see attached to Tyrone Crawford, who has been a model citizen and leader since entering the league in 2012.

Dallas elected to keep Crawford this season despite solid potential savings. He will count $10.1 million against their 2019 salary cap, which is high for his average production. However, he can play multiple positions and is one of their most experienced players.

Even if Tyrone were to get suspended by the league, it likely wouldn't be more than a one or two-game ban given his record and reputation. It shouldn't change anything about his status with the team.



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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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