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Jerry Jones Talks Ezekiel Elliott’s Value, Forgets Key Issue for Cowboys

Jess Haynie



Jerry Jones, Ezekiel Elliott
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In an interview yesterday from the Dallas Cowboys' training camp, Owner Jerry Jones made a big statement concerning Ezekiel Elliott's value to the team. But Jerry also omitted a critical detail that undercuts his argument.

The key words in all that Jerry said were:

"You don't have to have a rushing champion to win a Super Bowl."

This comment is entirely accurate based on NFL history. Jones accurately pointed out that Emmitt Smith was the first regular-season rushing champion to go on to win a Super Bowl in 1992. Emmitt would repeat that accomplishment in 1993 and 1995 as well.

Other than Smith's three championships, the only other RB to ever lead the league in rushing and win a Super Bowl in the same season was Terrell Davis with the 1998 Denver Broncos.

We all remember how Barry Sanders languished in Detroit throughout his career; a four-time rushing champion who missed the playoffs in two of those years and lost in the first round in the others. Household RB names like LaDainian Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson also never played in a Super Bowl.

In 2019, the reality of Jerry Jones' comment is as strong as it's ever been. The passing game has taken over the league, with top quarterbacks making more than double what the top running backs earn. Back in the 90s, Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith were making nearly identical money.

But while Jerry is accurate about how Super Bowl champions haven't needed rushing champions, he left out a key component that almost all of those teams had.

Most of those teams didn't need an elite running back because they had an elite quarterback.

Dallas Cowboys Still Plagued by Red Zone Struggles

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott and QB Dak Prescott

Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Russell Wilson have been the quarterback for 13 of the last 18 Super Bowl champions. It's also worth nothing that, in most of those years, an elite QB was on the losing side of that final game as well.

There are a few outliers. The 2002 Buccaneers had Brad Johnson driving the bus for a legendary defense and the Warrick Dunn-Mike Alstott rushing duo. And even though we wouldn't consider Eli Manning (2007, 2011), Joe Flacco (2012), or Nick Foles (2017) as elite passers overall, they all got hot at the right time and were playing on that level in their postseason runs.

The Dallas Cowboys don't have an elite quarterback yet. They have Dak Prescott, who so far has proven he can be a guy who gets you to the playoffs and will hopefully go on one of those hot streaks.

What's more, the Cowboys haven't proven that their offense can produce a solid rushing attack without a top talent back there. Alfred Morris struggled and Rod Smith was merely adequate when Elliott missed games in 2017.

So sure, it's easy for Jerry to point at the history books and how Super Bowl champions haven't needed a running back like Ezekiel Elliott.

But over the last three years, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys haven't proven that THEY can win a title without Zeke.

If Ezekiel Elliott Must Sit, The Time is Now

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

I understand the fiscal dilemma that the Cowboys face with Elliott's contract and the salary cap. We just outlined how the passing game rules in the modern NFL, which naturally makes Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, pass protectors, and pass rushers, and pass defenders the most important guys to acquire and keep for a football team.

But what the Patriots have enjoyed for all these Brady years is a QB who can turn unorthodox and unheralded offensive weapons into winners. He gets the ball out faster than most pass rushers can get to him, and manages the game to help his own defense. Tom Brady is the rising tide that lifts everyone on that team.

Dak Prescott is a terrific leader and an underrated player, but he's no Brady. And if we're being honest, he's no Brees, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, or Wilson at this point either.

The problem for Jerry Jones is that, right now, Prescott is the best option for the Dallas Cowboys at QB. He may never be on the level of those guys we mentioned, but Dallas can't risk trying to find someone better in the draft and lose the championship window they currently have.

Dak is good enough to win a Super Bowl. But he's probably not good enough to do it without Ezekiel Elliott.

That is the current reality for Dallas and the other side of Super Bowl history that Jerry neglected to mention.

And you can be sure that Elliott's team won't forget them in their discussions with the Cowboys front office.

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: Amari Cooper Likely out for the Rest of the Preseason

Matthew Lenix



Report: Amari Cooper Likely out Until Week 1

Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Amari Cooper is likely out for the remainder of the preseason according to ESPN's Todd Archer. He is currently dealing with a form of plantar fasciitis that has kept him out of practice since August 6th.

The three-time pro bowler changed life in Dallas last season as the team went 7-2 in it's final nine games after he was acquired to win the NFC East. Cooper isn't worried about any long term effects, though, as this is something he's familiar with.

"I'm not worried about it at all, because I know if it does linger, it doesn't matter," Cooper said. "I had 1,000 yards when I played on plantar fasciitis before."

The Cowboys host the Houston Texans this Saturday in what is known as the "dress rehearsal" game before the regular season. Starters normally play about a half of football to get the juices flowing for when games really count in September. Ideally, the plan would be for Cooper and Dak Prescott to get a rhythm of sorts before the season starts but that will have to wait until the team prepares to take on the New York Giants on September 8th.

However, the good thing here is this issue doesn't seem to be serious and Cooper will be ready for the start of the 2019 season.

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Report: Cowboys Agree To Contract Extension With LB Jaylon Smith

Kevin Brady



Jaylon Smith, Eagles

The Cowboys are neck-deep in contract negotiations with some of their team's most important players, but it appears they have gotten one key guy signed this afternoon.

ESPN's Todd Archer is reporting that the Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with middle linebacker Jaylon Smith, though the exact terms of the contract have yet to be announced.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with linebacker Jaylon Smith, according to sources. Smith was set to be a restricted free agent after this season but the Cowboys and his representatives started talks in the spring and they ramped up once camp began. Smith, a...

Of course, the Cowboys drafted Jaylon Smith early in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft despite the horrific leg injury he suffered in Notre Dame's college bowl game. Some didn't think Smith would ever recover to be the same player he once was, but in 2018 Smith emerged as an excellent middle linebacker once again. Smith finished the 2018 season with 121 combined tackles and 4 sacks, and has looked just as imposing thus far in the preseason.

Smith regained his athleticism and sideline to sideline speed, while retaining his impressive hit power and sound tackling to become one of the league's best. Combining Smith with Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys have put together arguably the best linebacker group in the NFL.

And now, there's no end in sight for the dynamic duo.

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Report: 2 Dallas Cowboys to be Activated off of P.U.P. List

John Williams



Auto Draft 6

Per a report from ESPN's Todd Archer, the Dallas Cowboys will soon activate Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence off of the Physically Unable to Perform (P.U.P.) List.

"The Cowboys are planning to activate defensive linemen DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford from the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday, according to a source. They will work through individual drills in their first steps on the field before going through full practices. Lawrence had shoulder surgery not long after signing a five-year, $101 million contract in April. Crawford has been working his way through a hip issue that kept him out of the offseason program. Safety Byron Jones (hip) and receiver Noah Brown (knee) remain on PUP."

Todd Archer -

This report comes after DeMarcus Lawrence had offseason shoulder surgery in April and signed his five-year deal making him the highest-paid player in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, at least for now. It looks as if Lawrence will be ready for a week one return.

It's long been believed that Lawrence would be available for week one of the regular season and hasn't suffered any setbacks to this point that should lead you to believe otherwise. With Robert Quinn suspended for the first two games of the regular season and Randy Gregory's status still up in the air (he still hasn't applied for reinstatement), getting Lawrence and Crawford back for the first two weeks of the season becomes instrumental.

The Dallas Cowboys defensive line has looked really good through the first two games of the preseason, but as good as they've been, they'll need Lawrence and Crawford once the regular season starts. Lawrence will slot back in as the left defensive end and Tyrone Crawford will split snaps at right defensive end with Dorance Armstrong and 3-technique defensive tackle with Maliek Collins, Trysten Hill, and Kerry Hyder.

While the additions of DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford will help the defense tremendously, there still isn't a timeline on the return of Pro Bowl Cornerback Byron Jones. Jones has been out since having hip surgery this offseason.

With as good as the Dallas Cowboys defense has looked this offseason, there's reason to believe that they can be even better once each of these guys are back in the lineup full-time. For a defense that was one of the 10 best defenses in the NFL in 2019, they'll need Lawrence, Crawford, and Jones to make the jump into the elite stratosphere of NFL defenses.

With the Dallas Cowboys' eyes set on capturing that sixth Lombardi Trophy, getting Lawrence and Crawford back in time to be ready for the regular season is vital to starting the 2019 season off right.

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