I don't know about you, but I don't put a lot of stock into much of anything PFF publishes, especially statistics and rankings. But, projecting Ezekiel Elliott rushes for more than 900 yards this season seems like a no-brainer to me. He has after all been the NFL's leading rusher two out of the last three seasons, and likely would've made it three years in a row if not for a questionable suspension.
Ezekiel Elliott definitely has the talent to rush for more than 900 yards, and that's lowballing him in my opinion. He's also the focal point of the Cowboys offense with arguably the best offensive line to block for him. There shouldn't be anything to hold him back, especially since he avoided another suspension from the incident in Las Vegas.
Here's what PFF had to say about Ezekiel Elliott:
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Elliott sitting atop this list is a product of above-average talent on his part, opportunity, and a Cowboys offensive line that should continue to pave the way for him as they have all throughout his career. Using a Massey-type rating system, we at PFF adjust our play-by-play grading by opponent and rank offensive lines in run blocking. Dallas has finished in the top-six in each of the past three years, and we currently have the team's front five as the second-best offensive line in the NFL entering the 2019 season. Add that to Elliott's strong skill set and the bevy of touches he'll get as the focal point of the Cowboys' offense, and it's no surprise our projections have him as the league's leading rusher this upcoming season. His current 2019 projection is 1,236.6 rushing yards and 8.5 rushing touchdowns.
It's hard to argue with anything PFF says here about Zeke. The only thing I would disagree with is the amount of yardage and touchdowns he accumulates in 2019. I think he easily surpass 1,200 rushing yards this season. After all, he rushed for more than 1,400 rushing yards last season and that was without Travis Frederick in the lineup. With Frederick set to return, the Cowboys offensive line should be much more effective.
You may be surprised to know though that PFF doesn't have Ezekiel Elliott out rushing his competitors by that much. They have New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley rushing for 1218.9 rushing yards and 8.2 touchdowns in 2019. If you're doing the math, that's just 18 less rushing yards then they predicted for Zeke.
Barkley no doubt has the talent, but he doesn't have the supporting cast as Zeke does. The Giants offensive line, although improved, still has glaring holes throughout. And, their passing game will likely take a step back without Odell Beckham Jr. who they traded away to the Cleveland Browns. That makes Saquon the focal point for opposing defenses to try to neutralize.
Regardless though, PFF did get something right with these projections. Ezekiel Elliott should be able to hold onto his rushing title in 2019. It's a small accolade considering the bigger picture, but it could help the Dallas Cowboys finally get back to the promise land. That's what were all hoping at least.
What kind of numbers do you think Ezekiel Elliott will have in 2019?
Forget Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cowboys Should Trade for Jamal Adams
Safety Jamal Adams appears to be unhappy with the New York Jets after their Monday night loss to the Cleveland Browns. He apparently unfollowed the team on social media, which as you can imagine caused quite a stir around the Internet and started a lot of trade speculation. If the scuttlebutt proves to be true, the Dallas Cowboys should be all over this.
Jets star Safety Jamal Adams has unfollowed the Jets on Instagram and removed them from his bio.
Just a few days ago the Dallas Cowboys showed an interest in potentially working out a trade with the Miami Dolphins for Defensive Back Minkah Fitzpatrick, but nothing ever materialized there. Now that Fitzpatrick has been traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jerry Jones should get the Jets on the line and see what it would take to acquire Jamal Adams.
I think we can all agree the former LSU Tiger would be a huge upgrade for the Cowboys defense, especially as it pertains to the safety position. It's arguably the weakest link on Dallas' entire roster, even more so now that Xavier Woods is expected to miss several weeks with a high ankle injury.
There's no denying Jamal Adams is a difference making type of player. He is not only an interchangeable safety capable of playing in deep coverage or around the line of scrimmage, but he's the kind of vocal leader the Cowboys secondary is currently lacking. Acquiring him would make Dallas' entire defensive unit a force to be reckoned with.
Like with Minkah Fitzpatrick though, this will come down to the compensation the Jets are looking for for a player of Adams' caliber. I personally believe it would take more than a first-round pick in 2020, likely a second rounder as well. But, if Dallas were to offer their first and third next year and throw in maybe Taco Charlton for good measure, that could possibly get the deal done.
All of this is pure speculation though since there really hasn't been any word New York is willing to part ways with their star safety at this point. Just because Jamal Adams unfollow's the team on social media doesn't mean he's getting put on the trade block. But if somehow he is, the Dallas Cowboys should put their best offer together.
After all, Jerry Jones has shown in the past he's willing to do what it takes to acquire players he thinks can take the team to the next level, especially a team with Super Bowl aspirations. He did it back in the 90s with Deion Sanders and Charles Haley, and an argument could be made Jamal Adams could end up making just as big a difference as those two.
If the Cowboys can somehow pull this off they would have Adams under contract for the rest of the 2019 season, 2020, and 2021 if they exercise his fifth-year option as a former first-round draft pick. Having him for basically three years would be well worth the compensation it would take to acquire him in my opinion.
Do you think the Dallas Cowboys should try to trade for Jamal Adams?
Takeaway Tuesday: Zeke Had The Exact Kind of Game Cowboys Need
It's pretty difficult to deal with the hype of being 2-0 to open a 2019 NFL season. The Dallas Cowboys have done just that with a revamped offense and a quarterback that's thrown seven touchdowns in the process. They currently sit alone atop of the NFC East and although it's too early to know what kind of team this will be when it's all said alone, we're excited.
Let's dive into this week's takeaways!
We Need Robert Quinn Back
The Dallas Cowboys defense hasn't been as bad as many would think. They've had a few bad moments but the talent is still there and should be improving as the season goes on. Last Sunday, what was most frustrating to me was the lack of a pass rush. DeMarcus Lawrence had a pretty good game, even though his stat line doesn't look very pretty. The pressure was there constantly and he forced a handful of bad plays from Case Keenum. Tyrone Crawford managed to sack him once.
Other than that, for most of the game the pressure was scarce. Fortunately, the Cowboys are getting Robert Quinn back from suspension this week. Having two quality edge rushers will boost a defense that has the potential to be great, but has only been "good" two weeks into the season.
Ezekiel Elliott Had The Kind of Game The Cowboys Need
Zeke was back for a heavier workload in week 2 after having a snap count in the season opener. It may have not felt like it, but the Cowboys' star running back had a pretty good game versus the Redskins. On 23 carries he had 111 yards and a touchdown, averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
In contrast of recent years, Elliott had a great game without the team heavily leaning on the running game. Dak Prescott threw the ball 30 times and Zeke still had a great game. This is what Cowboys Nation should want out of Kellen Moore's offense.
Elliott has two rushing touchdowns in the season, compared to six in all of last year. This is a product of an offense that's now dangerous in many ways, specially in the red zone. You gotta love what Moore is accomplishing so far.
Slow Starts Can't Continue to Happen
The biggest issue with the Cowboys in the first two weeks of the season has been their slow openings. In both games they've started trailing early. The worst thing about it is that it's been due to giving up big plays (like Saquon Barkley's big run in week 1) and quick, unsuccessful drives on offense (like a three-and-out drive followed by a drive that ended in an interception last Sunday).
Fortunately for the Cowboys, the Giants and Redskins didn't pose much of a problem. But when we reach the tougher stretches of the schedule, we know how quickly a game can turn south. Not every rival will be as unforgiving as the 0-2 foes they've faced so far.
Dak Prescott Continues to Prove He's It
Last but not least, we'll talk about Dak Prescott. Once again, he looked great. He finished the day with 269 yards, three touchdowns and an interception that came on a tipped ball from Randall Cobb's hand. He threw an absolute dime to WR Devin Smith, giving him his ninth 50+ yard touchdown pass of his career (ranking third in the NFL since 2016 behind Tom Brady and Philip Rivers).
All game long, he was precise against Washington's defense. He dealt three touchdowns to three different players and was making throws with anticipation and poise. If you're not sold on Dak Prescott yet, I don't know if you'll ever be.
He also looked well as a runner, specially on that 42-yard run where he stiffed arm Josh Norman. I hope the Cowboys continue to use him in the running game.
Brees Out for 6 Weeks, How Much Will Cowboys Win Streak Last?
The Dallas Cowboys are off to a hot start in 2019. Two weeks into the season, they're showing off a 2-0 record as they've outscored their opponents 66-38. The offense has been on point through two games under Kellen Moore's coordination. There have been some issues, but these have been largely outnumbered by the positive things.
Truth be told, such a start was expected. Well, maybe not Dak's seven touchdowns and 674 yards, but having two wins to start off the season certainly was. The Cowboys opening three-game stretch looked like an easy one from miles away. Dallas faces the Miami Dolphins next Sunday and they're already favorites by 20.5 points in the betting world.
Things weren't expected to heat up for the Cowboys until week 4 and now it seems like that won't happen.
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees suffered a hand injury against the L.A. Rams last Sunday and will require surgery. A torn ligament on his throwing hand thumb will keep him out for at least six weeks. This is a heavy blow for a team expected to be a Super Bowl contender.
From our breaking news segment on @nflnetwork: #Saints QB Drew Brees needs thumb surgery and is out for roughly 6 weeks. Teddy Bridgewater is the new starter. https://t.co/x4g6yVVIZm
With Teddy Bridgewater set to become the Saints' starting quarterback, odds will likely shift in the Cowboys' direction when both teams face each other on September 29th, a matchup that will take place under the lights on Sunday Night Football.
For the Cowboys, it means an increased chance of winning on week 4. I'm not going to lie to you, I would 100% rather face a Saints team with Drew Brees under center to enjoy a good football game, but it is what it is. You hate to see a great football player like Brees deal with injuries like this.
The Saints are still a very complete football team and shouldn't be underestimated, but it's hard to picture them being as productive offensively without their elite quarterback. Having said that, the Cowboys' schedule looks very favorable for Dallas.
These are the rivals that the Cowboys will face prior to the bye week:
- VS Miami Dolphins
- @ New Orleans Saints
- VS Green Bay Packers
- @ New York Jets
- vs Philadelphia Eagles
The toughest rivals on that slate are clearly the Packers and Eagles. It won't be easy, but should the Cowboys stay healthy, beating both definitely seems possible. Before that, I won't be surprised if the Cowboys reach the bye week with a 7-0 record.
This team has been pretty impressive through two weeks and if they clean up their slow starts, watch out for a long win streak. Looking at the games after the bye week, the biggest challenge definitely are the New England Patriots on week 12.
I don't want to sound overly optimistic, but I truly believe a long win streak is ahead of the Dallas Cowboys. Such a start to the season wouldn't be all that new for the Dak Prescott "era." Although they lost their season opener in 2016, they went on to win 11 straight on route to the #1 seed in the NFC.
We'll have a better idea of where the Cowboys stand after they face better competition. Right now, we need to handle the hype of a satisfying 2-0 record.
How long do you think the Cowboys win streak will last?
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