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Dallas Cowboys Player Profile: RB #21 Ezekiel Elliott


Ezekiel Elliott, #21

#21 Ezekiel Elliott

Height: 6-0 Weight: 225 Age: 20
Position: Running Back College: Ohio State
Exp: Rookie

Ezekiel “Zeke” Elliott was born on July 22, 1995 in Alton, Illinois. Ezekiel Elliott is an NFL running back for the Dallas Cowboys and was drafted in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played collegiately at Ohio State University where he earned All-American honors in 2015.

Dallas Cowboys Player Profile: RB #21 Ezekiel Elliott

High School

Ezekiel Elliott attended high school at John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri. Even though John Burroughs School was known more for their academics, Elliott was a standout player in several sports, including football, baseball, track, and basketball.

Ezekiel Elliott was a standout track and field athlete and was a state qualifier in different sprinting and hurtling events. He won four state championships at the Missouri Class 3 state championships and was amazingly able to accomplish this in just 2 ½ hours. He recorded his career best times in the 100-meter dash (10.95 seconds), the 200-meter dash (22.05 seconds), 110-meter high hurdles (13.77 seconds), and the 300-meter hurdles (37.52 seconds). He was named the Gatorade Track Athlete of the Year in the state of Missouri because of his accomplishments.

Elliott played running back for the John Burroughs Bombers football team, and as a junior in 2012 was named the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 1,802 yards and scoring 34 touchdowns. He also caught 23 passes for 401 receiving yards and scored six touchdowns.

In his senior year, Ezekiel Elliott accumulated 3,061 all-purpose yards and 50 total touchdowns, including 2,155 rushing yards and 40 rushing touchdowns. In his high school career he led the Bombers to three straight title games, but they lost all three. He also played in the U.S. Army All-American game and became the unofficial poster boy for the event.

Ezekiel Elliott was considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com coming out of high school and was listed as the #9 running back in the nation in 2013. 247Sports.com had Elliott rated as the fourth best running back.

Despite the fact that both of his parents were student athletes and attended the University of Missouri, Ezekiel Elliott decided to become an Ohio State Buckeye.

College/NCAA

As a true freshman in 2013, Ezekiel Elliott saw action 11 games playing behind future second round draft pick and Big Ten Running Back of the Year, Carlos Hyde. He carried the ball 30 times for 262 rushing yards. He also averaged 8.7 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns.

Elliott became the starter as a sophomore in 2014 and ran for 1,878 yards on 273 rushing attempts. Elliott’s 1,878 rushing yards was second-most in school history, second only to Eddie George’s 1,927 rushing yards back in 1995. Ezekiel Elliott also had 28 receptions for 228 receiving yards. He won the James E Sullivan Award, Archie Griffin Award, and was named to the Academic All-Big Ten Conference team. Ezekiel Elliott became only the third Buckeye to top 2,000 all-purpose yards in a season.

As a junior in 2015, Elliott rushed for 1,821 yards and scored 23 touchdowns on just 289 rushing attempts. He also added 27 receptions for 206 receiving yards. He ended up finishing eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting, but won plenty of other awards.

  • Big Ten Offensive Player
  • Running Back of the Year
  • First Team All-Big Ten
  • Won Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football Award as the Big Ten Most Valuable Player (only the 18th Buckeye to ever win it)
  • AP and FWAA second-team All-American
  • Maxwell Award semifinalist

Ezekiel Elliott finished his career at Ohio State second in career rushing yards, behind Archie Griffin (5,589) and ahead of Eddie George (3,768), with 3,961 rushing yards. He will be remembered as one of the best running backs in Ohio State history.

2016 NFL Draft

Ezekiel Elliott didn’t have to wait long to hear his name announced in the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Dallas Cowboys held the 4th overall draft pick and didn’t hesitate to write his name down on the draft card.

The running back position has been devalued somewhat over the past several years, but Elliott’s production in college and the fact that there really aren’t any holes in his game makes him a surefire day one starter for the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys could have decided to go defense in the first round, but the the pairing of Ezekiel Elliott with the Cowboys’ young and dominant offensive line was too much of a temptation to pass up.

Ezekiel Elliott was the highest drafted running back since Trent Richardson, when he was drafted third overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 NFL Draft.

NFL Career

Ezekiel Elliott’s professional career has yet to kick off, but there are a lot of high hopes from fans and people within the Cowboys organization who believe that big things are ahead of him in the NFL.

Elliott is already the “unofficial” favorite to win Rookie of the Year and a lot of that can be attributed to not only his talents as a running back, but the fact that he will be running behind the Cowboys’ dominant offensive line.

Predictions aside, Ezekiel Elliott is one of the best all-around running backs to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson, and there are a lot of high expectations being placed on his arrival in Dallas.

Contract Status

Ezekiel Elliott signed a four-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys worth $24,956,338 and will make an average of $6,239,085 per season, which makes him the ninth highest paid running back out of 200 running backs in the NFL. Elliott also received a $16.35 million signing bonus.

Elliott’s base salary as a rookie in 2016 will be $450,000 and his cap number will be $4,537,516. In 2017, his base salary will be $1,584,379 and his cap number will be $5,671,895. His 2018 base salary will be $2,718,758 and his cap number will be $2,806,274. In his final year of his rookie contract his base salary will be $3,853,137 and his cap number will be $7,940,653.

The Dallas Cowboys will then have to decide whether they want to pick up his fifth year option or offer him a long-term contract.

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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Game Notes

3 Things the Dallas Cowboys Need to do Against the Detroit Lions

Brian Martin

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3 Things the Dallas Cowboys Need to do Against the Detroit Lions

The  Dallas Cowboys are coming off yet another disappointing loss at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings. Their season and playoff hopes could be hanging in the balance now, which makes just about every game from here on out all that more important. They need to start playing as if their backs are against the wall, because that very well could be the case.

Luckily the Dallas Cowboys should be able to take care of business this week when they hit the road to take on the Detroit Lions. This is one of the more winnable games left on the Cowboys schedule this year and they should use it as a bit of a refresher game of sorts in order to get things back on track. The objective of course remains the same… Winning. But, this is also an opportunity to clean a few things up.

Let's take a look at a few things I think the Dallas Cowboys need to do against the Detroit Lions in this Week 11 matchup.

Hit the Ground Running

Amari Cooper, Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and WR Amari Cooper

No more slow starts! The Dallas Cowboys have to hit the ground running against the Detroit Lions instead of digging themselves into an early hole like they've done quite a bit this season. I honestly don't care if it's on the arm of Quarterback Dak Prescott or on the legs of Running Back Ezekiel Elliott, the offense has to figure out some way to be the aggressor in order to put points on the board early.

The Dallas Cowboys fell behind early in nearly every single one of their losses this season. I don't think a single team has really outplayed them yet this year, but when they have to scratch and claw their way back to get out of the hole they've dug themselves into it makes it exceedingly more difficult to win. It's time to change that narrative this week against the Detroit Lions so that hopefully it carries over for the rest of the year.

Execute! Execute! Execute!

Dalvin Cook

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook

The second thing the Dallas Cowboys need to do this week against the Detroit Lions is to clean up their execution, especially in the defensive side of the ball. Offensively things are going pretty well for the Cowboys, but the same can't be said about their defense. Despite all the talent they've added this season they are still struggling to put everything together and play up to expectations. Hopefully this Week 11 matchup helps them right the ship.

This is a game the Dallas Cowboys should be able to focus on their execution. That means maintaining their gap integrity in the running game, staying assignment sound in the passing game, and most importantly finish the tackle. Tackling was especially poor last week against the Vikings which is why Dalvin Cook ran wild. This has to be a group effort here. Yes, individuals need to improve, but for the overall defense to play up to expectations they have to execute as a unit.

Establish the Running Game

Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard

Dallas Cowboys RBs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard

Dak Prescott has been playing phenomenal these past few games and has proven he's more than capable of carrying the offense on his back, but the Dallas Cowboys still need to establish the running game. Just about everything Prescott does in the passing game is built off of play action. If the running game isn't producing that hurts the overall offensive output. Plus, the best way to control the game is by running the ball.

I think Ezekiel Elliott should have a pretty big game against the Detroit Lions this week. After being bottled up by the Vikings last week that should be news to the Cowboys ears. This offense feeds off of Zeke and it needs him to find his groove now that we're getting into the do or die part of the NFL season. No. 21 isn't the only RB who needs to find his groove though. Tony Pollard needs to start being more involved and what better game to get him going than against Detroit.

What do you think the Dallas Cowboys need to do against the Detroit Lions?


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Game Notes

Lion Down: QB Matthew Stafford Ruled Out for Cowboys Game

Jess Haynie

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The Detroit Lions will be without starting Quarterback Matthew Stafford this Sunday when they host the Dallas Cowboys. He has been officially ruled out due to fractures in his back; the second-straight game that Stafford will miss with the injury.

Fourth-year backup QB Jeff Driskel will get the start as he did last week against the Chicago Bears. The Lions lost that game 20-13, and Driskel went 1-4 as a starter last season when playing for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Stafford's status was confirmed this morning by Lions' Head Coach Matt Patricia.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Lions QB Matthew Stafford (back) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Cowboys

Losing Stafford could leave Detroit completely crippled on offense. While they have one of the league's top passing offenses so far in 2019, that was all Matt's work at QB. Now they are missing both their starting QB and their top running back, Kerryon Johnson, who went on injured reserve in Week 7.

That said, Detroit did put up 357 total offensive yards last week against the Bears with Driskel starting. Given the quality of Chicago's defense and that the Lions were playing on the road, that's a strong number.

It will be interesting to see how Dallas strategizes on defense after last week's loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Cowboys were completely run over by Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, so will increased focus on run defense creates opportunities for Driskel and the Lions' receivers?

However it shakes out, Matthew Stafford's absence definitely helps the Cowboys. He is still one of the top quarterbacks in football and had a top-five passer rating before the injury.

We never root for injuries but such is life in the NFL. Sometimes you get the benefit, sometimes you're on the losing end.

Hopefully, this turn of fate helps Dallas get a much-needed victory.


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Game Notes

#DALvsDET: Betting Preview, Trends, And Prediction

Kevin Brady

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Zeke the Freak Tames Lions – Texans Up Next

The Line

Cowboys -3.5 O/U 51.5 points.

Dallas Cowboys

After suffering a devastating four point loss to the Vikings on Sunday night, the Cowboys will look to get back on track against yet another NFC North foe.

Dallas now sits at 5-4, clinging to their first place spot in the division with the Philadelphia Eagles right on their heels. They have fumbled away four very win-able games already this season, and are running out of chances to take full control of their playoff destiny.

You can't necessarily call this one a must win for the Cowboys, but it's damn near as close as it can get to one for a week 11 game. Considering Detroit's record and injuries, the Cowboys can ill afford to let this one slip away on Sunday.

It's one of the few games against a team with a losing record remaining on their schedule.

Detroit Lions

The 2019 Lions are a tough team to figure out. Expected before the season to be one of the worst teams in the conference, the Lions started out the season rather well.

They were "undefeated" (there was a tie) through the first three weeks of the season, and played the Kansas City Chiefs extremely tough. They also went on the road and had the Green Bay Packers on the ropes for four full quarters.

But, with all that being said, they now sit at 3-5-1, with their NFC playoff hopes just about destroyed. Quarterback Matt Stafford is having one of the best seasons of his entire career, however, and is surrounded by an offense littered with receiving talent. If he's healthy and can play, he'll be a handful for the Cowboys secondary to deal with.

Trends

  • The Cowboys are now 2-4 against the spread their last 6 games.
  • The score total has gone over in 5 of the Cowboys' last 6 games. It's also gone over 5 of their last 6 road games.
  • The Lions are 1-4 against the spread their last 5 games.
  • The score total has gone over 7 of the last 8 times these teams have played.

Prediction

Despite being on the road this week, I'm going to pick the Dallas Cowboys to come out on top and cover the 3.5 point spread. At some point, talent has to take over for this bunch, and what a better day for that to happen than against a hobbled Detroit Lions team?

The Cowboys have been far from perfect in 2019, but it's now or never if they want to rack up wins and start a playoff run.


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