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Ezekiel Elliott’s Suspension A Blessing In Disguise?

Brian Martin

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Ezekiel Elliott's Suspension A Blessing In Disguise? 2

Nothing is set in stone just yet, but the likelihood of Ezekiel Elliott missing the next six games is at an all-time high. This news didn't sit well with a lot of Cowboys Nation and for good reason. This entire situation seemed like a witch hunt from the beginning, but there was hope Elliott would be exonerated and play the entire 2017 season. That doesn't seem to be the case now, but Elliott's suspension could end up being a blessing in disguise.

Now, I fully understand the mindset a lot of us have regarding Elliott's suspension. I've heard it all and probably thought the same way myself. You know, "Let's throw in the towel now because the Cowboys can't win without Elliott" or "Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden are more than capable of filling in during Elliott's absence". But, I can promise you this. I truly believe the suspension is going to be a blessing in disguise.

But there is a catch. There always is. Right!?

Ezekiel ElliottIn order for Ezekiel Elliott's suspension to become a blessing in disguise, the Dallas Cowboys have to keep themselves in playoff contention through these next six games. I truly believe that's doable because of the six teams they will face during Elliott's absence. Let's take a look.

Week 9 - Kansas City Chiefs
Week 10 - @Atlanta Falcons
Week 11 - Philadelphia Eagles
Week 12 - Los Angeles Chargers
Week 13 - Washington Redskins
Week 14 - @New York Giants

As you can see, this isn't the worst time for Ezekiel Elliott to serve his six-game suspension. The Dallas Cowboys could easily be 4-1 in the NFC East division and go 4-2 during this stretch in the schedule. That would keep their playoff hopes alive, which would be ideal with the start of the postseason right around the corner.

Luckily, that's not all…

During this time while the Dallas Cowboys are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive, Ezekiel Elliott isn't taking a pounding and will be fully rested upon his return December 17 against the Oakland Raiders. That means he will be at full strength for the final three games of the season and the freshest of any starting running back heading into the playoffs.

RB Ezekiel Elliott

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Having Ezekiel Elliott at full-strength or as near to it as possible would absolutely be a blessing in disguise for the Dallas Cowboys heading into the playoffs. This is especially true considering the unreal workload the Cowboys were giving him.

After seven games, Elliott has racked up 690 rushing yards on 164 carries, 19 receptions for 210 yards and eight total touchdowns. He was on pace for 418 touches, which seems like an astronomical number.

As unreal as that number may seem, it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility those numbers could've been inflated even more. In 2014 for instance, the Dallas Cowboys gave DeMarco Murray 449 touches. They made the playoffs that season, but Murray was noticeably worn down.

So, as much as we hate to lose Ezekiel Elliott these next six games, it could actually benefit the Dallas Cowboys in the long run. Of course, this all depends on whether or not they can keep themselves in the playoff race during Elliott's absence. I for one am not counting them out just yet.

Is Zeke's suspension a blessing in disguise?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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10 Comments
  • Jess Haynie

    Not to get too caught up in semantics, but “blessing in disguise” is a little too positive for this situation. I think you did a nice job of showing some of the silver linings in the situation; mitigating factors that reduce the sting. But overall, it still stings. We’d be better off with Zeke than without him, especially since most of your potential benefits are predicated on us making the playoffs. That will be much harder without Elliott.

    • Brian Martin

      Obviously we would prefer to have Elliott on the field, but it’s highly doubtful that happens. I think the Cowboys have a really good chance to still make the playoffs without Elliott though. The NFC is really wide-open. I was just trying to look on the brighter side of things.

  • Alfredo Martinez

    right now, the Dallas Cowboys looked like a power, thanks to the offensive running game. Everything revolves around the offensive line in Dallas. The defensive line of the cowboys every time looks more fearsome. Without Ezekiel, the cowboys will be only ONE GOOD TEAM.

    • Brian Martin

      Alfredo, the Cowboys OL is definitely the strength of their team and will keep them in contention no matter who is the starting RB. Thanks for commenting.

  • EverybodyTalks

    Great article. I believe that this team is prepared to do this without Zeke for awhile. When asked about the running game without Zeke, Ron Smith stated to the reporter, “We’re gonna take care of that. Zeke’s #1 seat will be nice and warm when he gets back.“ – (note: paraphrasing to ghe best of my recollection.)

    • Brian Martin

      Luckily, we at least have Zeke for the Kansas City game. But, when he does have to serve his suspension I think the Cowboys backups can be good enough to keep the team afloat until he returns.

  • Hobbes49

    Excellent article Brian. I realize there is going to be a difference with Zeke out, but I think most people may be underestimating how much Morris, McFadden and Smith may be able to accomplish behind our offensive line, which seems to be improving as the season progresses. I also think we are slightly underestimating what Dak can do in Zeke’s absence. That may turn out to be another silver lining, as Dak truly reaches new heights to his developing career. This is as long as our Defense can hold up, or God forbid, maybe even improve with time?!?!

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for the compliment. I was just trying to look for little silver lining. But you’re right, a lot of people are underestimating the other RBs can do in his absence. They don’t have to be great, just good enough to keep opposing defenses honest. I would also expect Prescott to step his game.

  • Wilson Torres

    brian good talking to you now y are they still taking the suspension off you know they must have something you know now three judges on going to hear the case so depending where there from newyork texas etc. he might win the case

    • Brian Martin

      To tell you the truth, I really have no idea what’s going on or what the outcome of all this will end up being. Elliott is going to continue to try to clear his name, so I would imagine he will continue to fight as long as needed.

Star Blog

Where In The World Is DE Taco Charlton?

Kevin Brady

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Sean's Scout: Defense Comes Alive In Loss At LA Rams 2
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Over pretty much the last decade, the Dallas Cowboys have been rock solid with their first round picks. With selections of Ezekiel Elliott, Travis Frederick, Byron Jones, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Leighton Vander Esch (just to name a handful), Dallas has rebuilt the core of their roster through the NFL Draft.

It's nearly impossible to bat .1000 in any round of the draft, however, and this appears to be the current case with the Cowboys' 2017 first round pick.

Defensive end Taco Charlton has not had the sophomore season that he, or anyone, had hoped for. A healthy scratch last Sunday, Charlton has only been active for 1 of the Cowboys' last 5 games, and has not recorded a sack or tackle since week 9.

Prior to disappearing with injuries and "attitude issues," Charlton had only recorded 1 sack on the season and was beginning to fall behind his Hot Boy-brethren. Defensive end Randy Gregory has reached his form over the last few weeks, Tyrone Crawford is having arguably a career year, and DeMarcus Lawrence is one of the best ends in all of football.

This doesn't leave much room for Charlton, who's now having issues even getting on the gameday roster. Rod Marinelli dodged questions about Taco Charlton earlier this week, vaguely saying they are "moving forward" and that he'd like to talk about other players on his defensive line who are performing.

Calvin Watkins on Twitter

Rod Marinelli on Taco Charlton's benching and being inactive last week: "We just keep moving along keep going forward. It's kinda been out there I'd leave it at that. I'd rather talk about our two tackles.

Charlton has not been quiet about his displeasure as of late, either. He's taken to Twitter to voice his frustrations, saying that not only is his shoulder fine but that the Dallas media is making up stories about his absence. He's also posted some cryptic tweets such as this one, with a picture of Allen Iverson and a caption reading "Every players needs that one coach to believe in them."

https://twitter.com/TheSupremeTaco/status/1072203745868554240

Maybe Taco is right. Maybe he just needs increased opportunity and a support system/coach that believes in him whole-heartedly. After all, Charlton has faced nothing but doubters and detractors since the second he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.

But in the NFL, the ultimate "what have you done for me lately" sport, it's hard to imagine he'll get that unwavering support anywhere in the league. He's going to have to "earn" his playing time, as head coach Jason Garrett spoke to earlier in the week. But with the plethora of talent the Cowboys are already putting out there on the defensive line, it's becoming difficult to see exactly where Taco Charlton can fit in on this defense.

It's possible, and fine, if it is simply not a fit between Charlton and the Cowboys at this point. But I'd also be wary of giving up on your first round pick in just his second NFL season. Another offseason with the team, working on his craft and getting fully healthy, should do Charlton wonders, and hopefully allow us to get a better read on his future with the Cowboys going forward.

Until then, we are all left to scratch out heads and wonder what in the world is going on with the Cowboys and Taco Charlton, and if the former first round pick will have a future in Dallas at all.



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Star Blog

Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

2018 has seen the emergence of high-powered offenses in both NFL conferences. The Kansas City Chiefs sit atop the AFC and the NFC is spearheaded by the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. Through 14 weeks, these three teams are the top three offenses in the NFL, each averaging over 30 points per game. This year, for the first time in NFL history, two teams scored more than 50 in the same game.

Thanks to this consistent impressive offensive performances, you would think "offense" is the name of the game for the 2018 NFL season. Well, not so fast, my friend. Despite sitting atop the NFC, the Saints and the Rams have recently suffered losses that indicate hope is anything but lost for defensive teams in the league.

The Chicago Bears were able to bring down the Rams last Sunday Night 15-6. The same offense that averages 33 points per game was limited to six points. Sean McVay's remarkable offense went home with no touchdowns to talk about on the plane back home. Instead, they probably discussed Jared Goff's four interceptions.

Weeks earlier, the Dallas Cowboys shocked the world when they brought down the Saints. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas simply couldn't move the ball against Leighton Vander Esch, DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones. 13 points were all the Cowboys needed to score to beat an offense that was averaging 37 per game heading into week 13 but was only able to put up 10 in Dallas.

The Cowboys are the #4 seed with the Bears slightly ahead of them as the #3 seed in the NFC. Together, these teams have defeated the top two in the conference. Now granted, playoffs will definitely be different.

For starters, if they are to advance to the divisional round, they'll be on the road. Chicago was surely benefited by playing in such a cold weather versus a Los Angeles team. As far as the Cowboys are concerned, few times has AT&T Stadium been as loud as when they beat the Saints.

Hopefully, we'll get to see both of these elite defenses advance to the Divisional Round to  square off against this couple of high-powered offenses again. We will not only be witnessing amazing football games, but a great discussion regarding the everlasting debate between offense and defense.

For years, "defense wins championships" has been a widely accepted statement in football. The Cowboys and Bears have made that same statement resound recently with their impressive wins.

Can they do it again in January football? Can they do it on the road?

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC" 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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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Fantasy Football - Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings - Week 2 2
Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Al igual que el resto de la afición de los Dallas Cowboys, parte de mí se siente confiada respecto a este equipo visitando a Indianapolis Colts y resultando victoriosos. ¿El problema? Los Colts no son un rival sencillo de vencer. Si crees que la racha de los Cowboys los intimidará, piensa de nuevo. Los Houston Texans llevaban nueve victorias al hilo antes de enfrentarse a este equipo.

Siendo objetivos, este puede ser el partido que evite que los Cowboys cierren su temporada con ocho victorias al hilo para terminar el año con un récord de 11-5. Ni los Tampa Bay Buccaneers ni los New York Giants deberían presentar amenaza alguna contra Dallas. Lo mismo no se puede decir de Indianapolis.

Por primera vez en mucho tiempo, Andrew Luck está realmente de vuelta. Gracias a una reconstrucción de su línea ofensiva, su nivel de juego a regresado al nivel que conocíamos de él desde que llegó a la NFL. Afortunadamente para los Colts, Luck se ha mantenido sano toda la temporada y no se ve rastro alguno de sus lesiones anteriores en el emparrillado.

T.Y. Hilton está teniendo un muy buen año y sin duda alguna presentará un reto para Byron Jones y el resto de la secundaria de los Cowboys. Eric Ebron en la posición de tight end también será un dolor de cabeza para la defensiva.

Lo más interesante se dará en las trincheras. Los Cowboys han hecho un muy buen trabajo presionando quarterbacks opuestos en la temporada, pero si el centro de los Colts, Ryan Kelly está sano el domingo, se enfrentarán al mejor duo de centro-guardia en la liga actualmente. Con Quenton Nelson al lado, Luck estará muy bien protegido.

Sin embargo, Kelly no ha jugado debido a una lesión y aún está por verse si tomará el campo el domingo por la mañana. Los Cowboys hicieron un muy buen trabajo a la entonces ofensiva #1 de la liga, los New Orleans Saints, pero eso no significa que la ofensiva #8 que tienen los Colts no los retará.

Promediando 27 puntos por juego, la defensiva necesitará ayuda de Dak Prescott y compañía para ganar el partido. Dallas continúa moviendo el balón efectivamente, pero es tiempo de anotar touchdowns y no goles de campo.

Ezekiel Elliott será, una vez más, clave para la victoria. Enfrentándose a una defensiva Top 10 contra el juego terrestre, mover las cadenas con Zeke no será tan fácil. El novato Darius Leonard como linebacker ha sido algo espectacular otra temporada al igual que Leighton Vander Esch. Liderando a toda la NFL en tackleadas, estará listo para recibir a los Cowboys al Lucas Oil Stadium.

Lo más importante de este partido...

Por más impresionante que sea la racha de cinco victorias consecutivas, los Cowboys tienen que demostrar que pueden ganarle a un equipo fuerte estando de visita. Porque hay que admitirlo, Jason Garrett y su equipo no han tenido éxito fuera de casa. Claro, le ganaron a un equipo debilitado de Philadelphia Eagles y a unos Atlanta Falcons que va 4-9.

Este equipo "nuevo" de los Cowboys no ha ido contra un rival de calidad siendo el visitante. Es tiempo de demostrar que lo pueden hacer, ya que si quieren contender en postemporada, es justo lo que necesitarán... jugar bien de visita.

Sinceramente creo que los Cowboys ganan este partido. Principalmente gracias a su defensiva, pero también veo a la ofensiva dominar el tiempo de posesión en un juego de pocos puntos. Es tiempo de mantener esa racha.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival" 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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