Adapt and Overcome: Dallas Cowboys Without Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott
Dallas Cowboys star Running Back Ezekiel. Photo Credit: Brook Ward - Under Creative Commons License.



[/heading]The 2 Musketeers. Ron Weasley and Harry Potter, without Hermione Granger. Leia and Han Solo without Luke Skywalker. Larry and Curly without Moe. By now, you must have guessed that I’m talking about famous groups of three. Here’s one that may be a bit more relevant: Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin without Emmitt Smith. Today though is Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant without Ezekiel Elliott.

This is a similar situation to what the Dallas Cowboys have in store for the next 6 games. Monday, October 30th, served as an early Halloween nightmare for the Dallas Cowboys as the U. S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla denied the injunction for Dallas Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Zeke will be serving the 6-game suspension, that has already stirred up some controversy, starting this next Sunday. The Dallas Cowboys will be looking to get a win against the Kansas City Chiefs at AT&T Stadium. The Chiefs will be trying to ride the momentum of the Monday night win against the Denver Broncos.

Ezekiel Elliott has the ability to apply for an appeal within 24-hours of the ruling. The appeal would basically just delay the suspension. This means that there would be another court date, but not until next season. The 6-game suspension is already controversial because it is the ruling of an alleged domestic violence dispute that found insufficient evidence to take any legal action. For now, though, the Cowboys need to look for other options at running back.This could potentially be big news for the Chiefs, and the rest of the NFL for that matter. The Dallas Cowboys are 2nd in the league in rushing, averaging 150.6 yards per game. This ground effort was led by Ezekiel Elliott who has 690-yards on the ground and a league-leading tie of 6 touchdowns. Elliott will be returning to action on December 17th against the Oakland Raiders.

We saw a jump in the ESPN power rankings last week to see the Cowboys at number 5. This will have a big effect on that. The Cowboys are losing their main weapon. This will be a true test to see how good Dak Prescott and the offensive line truly are. It is assumed that Alfred Morris will be taking over the majority of snaps at running back. Rod Smith will be the second running back that would be jumping in to relieve Morris every so often.

Jason Garrett said that the Cowboys will be okay. He said, “The way we’ve constructed our roster has taken his situation into account. We have some veteran running backs. We have some depth at that position. It’s not like we’re just living this day and we don’t think about the future at all. You have to do that. I think you build your team that way at all positions. If this guy is not able to play, who’s your backup? Who can go in? We try to do that with our offensive line, receivers, running backs, all throughout our defense. That’s the way you construct your team, you’re always thinking about those scenarios. We’ll take it one day at a time and we’ll see what his situation is. Regardless, we’re going to go forward and try to play our best football.”[heading]


[/heading]There should remain faith though. The Dallas Cowboys are able to adapt. We saw a similar situation in 2015 after the Cowboys lost DeMarco Murray. They adapted then. They can adapt now. The Cowboys were able to have Darren McFadden be fourth in the league in rushing then. The offensive line delivered then, and they have the potential to do the same now.

It is often said the Dallas Cowboys offensive line is the best in football, or at least is in the talks for it. They have three All-Pro linemen in Zack Martin at right guard, Tyron Smith at left tackle, and Travis Frederick at center. Based on the performance so far, La’el Collins at right tackle and Jonathan Cooper at left guard will attempt to join the All-Pro group.

The Dallas Cowboys will also have to rely a little more on the passing game. They average 219.3 yards per game passing. Dak Prescott has played well in the past and is talked about as an elite quarterback based on his performance the past two seasons. He has his three favorite targets still to throw to as well: Jason Witten, who leads the team with 34 receptions, Dez Bryant, Leading the team with 4 touchdowns and 366 yards, and Terrance Williams, who has 21 receptions – 2 more than Ezekiel Elliot who has 19.

The Dallas Cowboys will have to adapt and overcome this obstacle. Especially if they want to do like Skip Bayless has predicted and win the NFC East.