Can the Cowboys cope without Zeke?

Adam Schultz Roar Rookie

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    Ezekiel Elliott playing for the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL. By Keith Allison - https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/29150185404, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52228416 College football American football Dallas Cowboys

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    At the time of writing, the Dallas Cowboys are still unsure of Ezekiel Elliott’s playing status heading into the regular season.

    With his looming six-game suspension still going through its various stages there is a real chance that Dallas will be without the league’s best running back for six games.

    Although many pundits still believe that Zeke will be suiting up on opening day for the Cowboys when they host the Giants at Jerry World, after that its anyone’s guess. His rookie season was nothing short of incredible, 322 rushing attempts for a league-leading 1631 yards at an average of 5.1 yards a carry which is superb, let alone for a rookie.

    He also rushed for 15 TDs and averaged 108.7 rushing yards a game. To say that Zeke is the barometer for Dallas is an understatement and many believe that if he in fact does miss all six games the Cowboys will struggle to move the football.

    Ezekiel Elliott playing for the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL. Image: Wikicommons

    The Cowboys running back position is well stacked with Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris the so-called “back ups”. Both have had 1000-yard rushing seasons and have proved that they can be relied upon if needed.

    Morris was the Cowboys’ preferred second choice back last season with 69 attempts for 243 yards at an average of 3.5 yards a carry and two TDs. McFadden didn’t really see too much action with only 24 attempts for 87 yards and 3.6 yards a carry and no TDs.

    So here comes the important question, are the Cowboys going to be able to cope without Zeke for six games if his suspension sticks?

    My initial feeling is yes. My Cowboys will but it will be a very different type of offence we see. With Zeke behind Dak Prescott many NFL defences’ first thought is to stop the run and Elliott by any means as he is one of the few backs in the league that have that home run speed in his arsenal and that can quickly take away the game from the opposition.

    This will leave Dak to use his play action passes to take advantage of Zeke’s talent in the backfield. Here lies the problem for me, without Zeke I feel that Dallas will lose some of that “scare factor” on offence. That will in turn put more pressure on Prescott to make more throws and he could be put in more third and long situations than he was last season if Morris and McFadden don’t get the yards they need.

    This is how the Cowboys offence could potentially stall. Giving that they are playing a lot more quality teams this year Zeke’s absence could be felt and felt hard.

    I still feel the Cowboys will be able to cope without their star back if indeed his suspension does stick, in Morris and McFadden they have good quality back ups who can fill in for Zeke and can keep the Cowboys offence rolling with the best offensive line in football that boasts three pro bowlers and their star pro bowl quarterback Dak Prescott.

    My Cowboys will be just fine without Zeke in the backfield. I still expect them to win their fair share of games en route to another playoff run.

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