Ezekiel Elliott has proven to be on the best running backs in the game. Elliott has been the driving force of the Dallas Cowboys‘ offense in his first couple of years in the league. The Cowboys have continued to add talent to their offense that has ramped up the level of expectations. It has also put forth some chatter around their game plan that Elliott wasted no time in shutting down that talk.
Ezekiel Elliott’s strong start to NFL career
Through his first few seasons in the league, Ezekiel Elliott has emerged as one of the top talents in the game.
Elliott has been the model for consistency at the position behind his tremendous production. He has notched 5,405 rushing yards in his first four campaigns, which no other running back is within 1,000 yards of that massive total, which saw him miss six games in 2017 due to a suspension. That includes him rushing for more than 1,000 rushing yards three times and leading the league in rushing twice.
He’s coming off posting 1,357 rushing yards with 12 rushing touchdowns along with 54 catches for 420 receiving yards and two touchdowns. His stellar play has garnered three Pro Bowl selections, a First-Team All-Pro nod, and a Second-Team All-Pro nomination. In many ways, Elliott has been the Cowboys’ driving force offensively due to his dual-threat ability as one of the most complete running backs.
Elliott and his team’s expectation levels have raised another notch this offseason, leading him to shoot down one notion quickly.
Ezekiel Elliott shoots down conversation around smaller role
The Cowboys have garnered more hype this offseason after adding more talent to their offense by adding promising rookie wideout CeeDee Lamb. Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper has taken that another level by stating that he, Lamb, and Michael Gallup could all each reach 1,000 receiving yards next season.
That has led some to speculate that it could see Elliott take a smaller role in the offense. It didn’t take long for him to shoot down that notion down that was suggested by ESPN’s Ed Werder.
It’s an easy route to take with that talk, but it’s something that Elliott doesn’t want to become a topic of discussion. The star running back will have a significant role in the offensive game plan, but the players’ focus is on winning games. That is one thing that will keep all the players satisfied away from a sizable workload.
There may be an increase in dependence on the passing game due to head coach Mike McCarthy guiding the offense, but that shouldn’t lessen Elliott’s role.
High expectations for the 2020 season
What this dialogue speaks to, more importantly, is the increased expectations around the franchise in 2020.
The Cowboys are coming off a highly disappointing season where they fell apart down the stretch. They played with inconsistency while their offense struggled to produce despite the strong talent across the board. The hope is that McCarthy can get the most out of that unit to get them to compete for a Super Bowl.
Ezekiel Elliott has to continue to be a game-changing factor in the running game. Meanwhile, the Cowboys may have their deepest group of wide receivers in quite some time. The pieces are in place for them to make a strong push toward an NFC East division title. It’s on them to make the most of the opportunity.