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Is Darius Jackson Better Than Ezekiel Elliott?

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Is Darius Jackson Better Than Ezekiel Elliott?

It's nearly been four whole months since the 2016 NFL Draft and you may have forgotten that the Dallas Cowboys used not one, but two draft picks on the running back position.

Ezekiel Elliott has received the majority of the hype surrounding the Cowboys draft picks and rightfully so, but the other running back that they drafted in the six round out the Eastern Michigan might just end up being a steal in regards to where he was drafted.

Darius Jackson has all of the qualities that you look for in a running back in the NFL and could very well be just as good as Ezekiel Elliott.

Let's take a look at Jackson and Elliott's last year of college production in 2015 and what they have been able to accomplish during their entire collegiate career.

Darius Jackson 2015 & Career Stats
Att/Rec Yards YPC TDs
Rushing 208 1,078 5.2 14
Career Total 321 1,586 4.9 17
Receiving 21 201 2
Career Total 44 375 4
Ezekiel Elliott 2015 & Career Stats
Att/Rec Yards YPC TDs
Rushing 289 1,821 6.3 23
Career Total 592 3,961 6.7 43
Receiving 27 206 0
Career Total 58 449 1

Let's break down the 2015 season for both Jackson and Elliott first, because comparing career stats between the two players would be unfair considering Elliott received more opportunities than Jackson throughout their college careers.

If you take into consideration that Elliott had 81 more rushing attempts than Jackson, the argument could be made that Jackson's 2015 performance might be a lot more similar to Elliott's. If you think about it, 81 more rushing attempts for Jackson would equal about six more games to improve his statistics if you take into account he is receiving approximately 20 carries a game.

Suddenly, Ezekiel Elliott's 1,821 rushing yards don't seem quite as impressive, especially if you consider the talent that surrounded him at Ohio State.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to discount anything that Ezekiel Elliott was able to accomplish in college. In fact, he had an outstanding collegiate career. What I'm trying to do is shine a little more light on the type of player Darius Jackson is and why the Dallas Cowboys decided to draft him in the six round.

Do you know what Leonard Fournette, Derrick Henry, and Darius Jackson had in common in 2015?

All three had the highest percentage of their teams touchdowns scored.

ESPN Stats & Info on Twitter

45: Leonard Fournette accounted for 45.1% of LSU's TD scored (all non-passing TD) in 2015, highest rate in FBS

That's pretty impressive company that Darius Jackson finds himself in. Derrick Henry is the 2015 Heisman winner and Leonard Fournette was not only a Heisman favorite in 2015, but should be one of the favorites to win the Heisman once again in 2016.

The Dallas Cowboys could use as much help as possible with finding the end zone, especially after the disastrous offensive performance they had in 2015.

Darren McFadden might have finished fourth in rushing in the NFL in 2015 with 1,089 rushing yards, but he only managed to score 3 touchdowns. That is definitely an area that could use improvement for the 2016 season.

It has yet to be seen what type of player Darius Jackson can be for the Dallas Cowboys, but it is encouraging to know that he has a nose for the end zone.

Now, is Darius Jackson better than Ezekiel Elliott?

Honestly, as good as I think Darius Jackson can become, I don't think he has a chance to compete with Ezekiel Elliott for the starting running back spot. Elliott is arguably the most complete running back to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson nearly a decade ago.

I'm not even sure that Jackson can outperform Darren McFadden or Alfred Morris to earn more playing time in 2016.

I do however envision Darius Jackson becoming Robin to Ezekiel Elliott's Batman in the future after he has had time to develop his skills further and get accustomed to the speed of the NFL.

It is really going to be interesting to see how Jackson performs in training camp and in preseason games. I'm sure he will receive plenty of opportunities to impress the coaching staff and show us all why the Dallas Cowboys decided to draft him.

Are you excited to see what type of player the Dallas Cowboys have in Darius Jackson?

Please feel free to use the comment section below  to provide your thoughts and opinions on this topic. I really look forward to hearing back from you so that we can discuss this topic further.



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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15 Comments
  • Boooo This Man

    Oh stop this.

  • Shawn Pugh

    I coached football for 7 years and I know that it's become a passing league but anyone knows that if you want to throw the ball, you first have to be able to run the ball and I don't see any team with four running backs better than the Cowboys in the NFL!!!

    • Brian Martin

      100% agree with you Shawn.

    • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/10153813008003226/ Paul Heckmann

      As much as I like the pick, in no way is Darius better than EzE. When you're comparing stats, you have to take into account a huge variable, the teams that you are facing and the quality of their offense/defense. Playing Big 10 football is a far cry from Mid America Conference

      • Brian Martin

        Thanks for commenting Paul. I don't disagree with anything you said, in fact I probably should've put a little more emphasis on the level competition that both Jackson and Elliott faced in my article. I do however wonder if Darius Jackson and Ezekiel Elliott were to switch places if their statistics would still be a little similar. If Jackson was surrounded with the talent that Ohio State had on offense, would he have similar stats that Elliott had and vice versa? I do believe that Elliott is the better RB, but the point I was trying to make is that Jackson could be a very good RB in the NFL as well.

  • Monte

    If nothing else Jackson is faster than Elliott & that in itself might make a difference. Zeek probably has him beat in hand size though which is important w/ ball security. I don't see the elusiveness of Emmitt out there in any of the runners. Cudos 2 Emmitt he was just plain EXCITING 2 watch!!!

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for commenting Monte. I think they both are going to make a really good 1-2 combination for years to come.

  • Tyshawn H

    Having Darious Jackson in town with Zeke would make our RB group a bit more dynamic and dangerous for the next few years. Even after D-Mac and Morris go on their way, these two guys will hold it down wonderfully.

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for commenting Tyshawn. I'm really looking forward to seeing both Darius Jackson and Ezekiel Elliott running behind the Cowboys talented offensive line.

  • Dave

    Nice article,but please don't use titles like that. Wayyyyy to clickbaity

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for commenting Dave. I don't usually use titles like that. Usually I try to avoid the clickbaity titles, but I thought this time it was kind of fitting. I wanted to express how Darius Jackson could become a really good RB for the Dallas Cowboys. I think often times we get too caught up in the collegiate programs these players play at and their stats. College production is great, but once you become a professional you have to start all over. Jackson is from a small program, but I think you can be really good in the NFL.

  • Randy Martin

    Brian I have to believe this article is a little tongue in cheek. Elliot to Jackson comparison is Apple's and oranges. Elliot played at Ohio St. While Jackson played at EMU. Get real man!

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for coming Randy. I know that Zeke Elliott and Darius Jackson are probably on opposite ends of the spectrum as running backs, but I really think Jackson has a lot that can be developed and help him become a really good RB in the NFL. I don't know if I could say the same thing about Elliott. He is already so well-rounded that I'm not sure if he can become much better. Jackson may never become as good as Elliott, but that's okay. That's why I said he could become Robin to Elliott's Batman in the article.

      • Football Geek

        Brian, I think your article is spot on and agree that Darius has the potential to be better than Elliot. Here are the reasons: 1) Darius is a better athlete- Proday numbers were 4.34- 40, 41' vertical, 11.1 broad, 20- 225 reps, @ 6ft 220 lbs. These numbers if he would have been invited to the combine would have put him in the top 3 of every category. He also could have went pro at baseball. Darius was a 2 sport athlete at EMU. His batting average while playing baseball for EMU's baseball team was 460. 2) The offensive line at EMU is not even in the same conversation as Ohio States. If you look at difference of last years numbers between Elliot and Jackson the difference is Darius created space and Elliot excelled at the space his oline created. 3) Opportunity. Darius has only been on a small stage his whole life. From a small town and small schools. Now he has put himself into a position to have a shot to show what he has done at every level just on a bigger stage. In listening to his interviews this stage is what he was waiting for. Now he has to take advantage of his opportunity.

        • Brian Martin

          Football Geek, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. Personally, I can't wait to see what Darius Jackson does in the preseason. I really think he's going to open a lot of eyes and the Cowboys might just have to find some kind of role for him in 2016.

Dallas Cowboys

Which Cowboys Benefit From David Irving’s Suspension?

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

While losing David Irving for the first four weeks of 2018 is a bad thing for the Dallas Cowboys defensive line, it does create opportunities for some of the other defensive tackles. Who has the most to gain from Irving's suspension?

Because he was mostly going to be used inside as the 3-technique DT, David's absence will naturally benefit the guys who are best suited to play that role. Thankfully, Dallas isn't lacking for those types of players.

Veteran Tyrone Crawford can use all the playing time he can get. As a likely salary cap casualty next year, Crawford doesn't want to get buried on the depth chart as Dallas focuses on their younger players who project to stick around beyond 2018.

With Irving out, Dallas will likely lean on Tyrone as they often do when someone is missing on the defensive line. With more talent now at defensive end, Crawford was going to be competing with Irving, Maliek Collins, Jihad Ward, and other younger guys for work at tackle.

But now there's a problem, and it's easy to slide Crawford into the 3-tech role that Dallas once envisioned him being a star at. Remember, it was their projection of Tyrone as a breakout DT that got him his big contract to begin with.

Yes, Irving's only gone for four weeks. Dallas will still be giving him work in camp based on the role he should fill for the majority of the season. But that's why a veteran like Tyrone Crawford is a great temporary plug-in, because he doesn't need all of the practice reps to step in and perform.

Maliek Collins

Dallas Cowboys DT Maliek Collins

Another key beneficiary could be third-year DT Maliek Collins. Last season, Collins got stuck playing 1-technique and not getting the same opportunities to make plays and get noticed that he had his rookie year.

But now Dallas has several guys in Jihad Ward, Richard Ash, and Brian Price who can play the 1-tech role, which will hopefully get Collins back where he belongs. Maliek's athleticism belongs a little further away from center, letting him try to take on guards in single coverage.

Collins is dealing with a foot issue now but should be back for the preseason. That's enough time for him to be where he needs to be Week One, provided he's healthy.

How Dallas would balance playing time between Collins and Tyrone Crawford could be a matter of how much they play certain schemes. One could see Collins, the bigger guy, playing more in the base defense and then Crawford being used in passing situations.

There is always a lot of rotation in a Rod Marinelli line, so discussions about playing time can get a little silly. Unless you're a true stud like DeMarcus Lawrence who you don't want to take off the field, the Cowboys like to keep guys fresh.

But that's why this is a big opportunity; David Irving has that stud potential. He's the kind of talent who could keep solid players like Crawford and Collins out of view if he hits his stride.

For the first four weeks, though, Irving will be in the NFL doghouse and Dallas will likely lean on its two most experienced defensive tackles to fill the void. There will be more reps for guys like Datone Jones and Jihad Ward too, but Crawford and Collins have way more skins on the wall

That trust should keep them on the field more while David Irving's suspended, and perhaps beyond.



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Player News

BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year

Mauricio Rodriguez

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David Irving

For the second consecutive year, Defensive Lineman David Irving is being suspended for four games by the NFL. This time, the suspension comes after Irving violated the NFL's policy on substance of abuses, as Ian Rapoport reported.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys DL David Irving is being suspended 4 games for violating @NFL policy on substance of abuses, sources say. Another big-time D-linemen hit with a suspension for Dallas.

Irving will play for the Dallas Cowboys after the team placed a second-round tender on him earlier in the year. Why no team was interested in picking such a talented defensive tackle for a second round pick is becoming clearer and clearer as the time goes on.

In April, when David Irving got hacked by his former girlfriend one of the tweets that stood out the most was one which said "Wait until you all find about his failed drug tests." Now, we're seeing what the tweet was about.

Irving is a very talented player that could have a great career ahead of him. Of course, with this being the second consecutive year in which he receives a suspension to start the season, one could question how much he wants it.

The Cowboys will play the Panthers, Giants, Seahawks and Lions to start the season. They'll have to do it with one of their most promising defensive players in David Irving.

Here at Inside The Star, we'll keep you updated with this story and every Dallas Cowboys news.

Tell me what you think about "BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Offense Finds Rhythm to End Minicamp, Hurns and Gallup Stand Out

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Offense Finds Rhythm to End Minicamp, Hurns and Gallup Stand Out 1

The Dallas Cowboys are back in offseason mode, concluding their OTAs and minicamp from The Star. With a hiatus until training camp, it was important for several high-profile players to make a strong first impression on the 2018 season. From the start of mini camp, these impressions were left mostly by Rod Marinelli's defense and -- more specifically -- Kris Richard's young group of cornerbacks.

Still working through significant change on the offensive side of the ball, the Cowboys did rally on day three under Quarterback Dak Prescott to put out a better performance. The Cowboys coaching staff should love their lasting memories of both FA acquisition Wide Receiver Allen Hurns and rookie Michael Gallup.

There is a strong chance that these two receivers will be the Cowboys starters in Oxnard for training camp. We have heard a lot about the impact new WR Coach Sanjay Lal has had on his group, slowing the game down to focus on route running. This will give the team's rotation of unproven receivers a chance with Prescott, as he can focus on throwing to a 'spot' more often.

One spot that Prescott has struggled to hit in two seasons as the starter in Dallas is the back of the end zone for fade routes. A red zone go-to under Scott Linehan, free agent WR Dez Bryant was often the intended target on these missed passes.

Cowboys Offense Finds Rhythm to End Minicamp, Hurns and Gallup Stand Out

Dallas Cowboys WR Allen Hurns

Less of a route running technician and closer to the mold of a physical player like Bryant, Allen Hurns emerging as the Cowboys #1 option would solve a lot of uncertainty at the WR position. In yesterday's practice, Hurns was able to haul in a perfect ball from Prescott on the fade as he beat Byron Jones.

It's going to take some time for Jones to readjust to playing cornerback, but the vision for Kris Richard of him and Chidobe Awuzie starting on the outside is a great one. In a battle of proven players, Hurns got the best of Jones to spark the Cowboys offense at the right time.

Overall, there should be no reason to panic about (well, really anything from mini camp) the Cowboys offense right now, and plenty of reasons to be excited about what this defense will develop into.

Once the pads come on at training camp, the players the Cowboys are paying to play at an elite level will start to shine, including their newly re-signed Guard Zack Martin -- the highest paid guard in the league now. There are no doubts that the bread and butter for this offense will be handing the ball to Ezekiel Elliott behind this wall of an offensive line.

From this increase in competition in the trenches, we'll also get more meaningful battles along the defensive line. In shorts and helmets for now, the Cowboys secondary was given their chance at mini camp, and came out solid early.

Another player they've struggled to truly corral though is Michael Gallup. Perhaps pressing a bit thanks to his limited opportunities thus far, Jourdan Lewis was taken across the field by Gallup on a misfire from Cooper Rush.

This is nothing new for Gallup however, who's been ahead of the curve on creating the desired separation as a "violent" receiver on the outside.

A steal with the 81st overall pick in this year's draft, Gallup has a long way to go in beating out the likes of Terrance Williams, Cedrick Wilson (limited through this portion of the offseason with injuries), and even Cole Beasley, who's received some reps on the outside.

With both Hurns and Gallup making plays on the Cowboys final practice until late July, it's easy to let the mind wander with possibilities of the Cowboys offense playing at full strength against a defense that might be up for the challenge better than ever compared to year's past.

As always, the practice fields of Oxnard will serve as a battle ground for a young but deep Cowboys team to earn their spots on the 53-man roster, one that surely won't have room for all of the wide receiver hopefuls seen this week in mini camp.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Offense Finds Rhythm to End Minicamp, Hurns and Gallup Stand Out" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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