Over the last six weeks, the Dallas Cowboys have fed Zeke to the tune of 30 touches per game. He’s averaged 22.8 rushes and 7.2 receptions per game in that same time frame. Elliott’s a durable back, but the Dallas Cowboys look to he preparing to ease back on his touch count over the final two games with the promotion of 2016 sixth round pick Darius Jackson from the practice squad to the active roster.
All season long, the Cowboys have gone with only two tailbacks on the active roster, relying on Elliott and Rod Smith to shoulder the load for the Cowboys vaunted rushing attack.
The Cowboys have a chance to clinch the NFC East against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today. Jackson’s promotion signals that the Cowboys are going to ease back on Elliott’s workload over the next couple of weeks.
Jackson has only been active for two games in his three-year career. If he’s active against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it will be the first time since week two of this year when he was a member of the Green Bay Packers.
He hasn’t carried the ball in an NFL game, but could see some work if the Cowboys are able to get a big lead against the Bucs. If the game stays close Jackson probably wouldn’t see many touches this week. With a win, Jackson would be in line for a substantial workload in week 17 while the Cowboys opt to rest Elliott for the playoffs.
Jackson has been a preseason darling of Cowboys Nation since his rookie year and his opportunity to make a regular season, and perhaps postseason, impact is right around the corner. As Jackson comes on board, look for the Cowboys to decrease Ezekiel Elliott’s touch count over the next two games.
With as much as he’s been worked the last six games, the Cowboys coaching staff needs to look to get him rested and fresh for the postseason. It will be an uphill battle for the Cowboys to add their sixth Lombardi Trophy, but to do so, they’ll need Ezekiel Elliott at his best.
Because at his best, Zeke’s a game changer.