With Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott perhaps set to serve his suspension, who is his backup?
The legal wrangling between Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and the NFL took another step on Thursday, with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacating Elliott’s temporary injunction. That means Elliott’s six-game suspension is back on, pending another appeal that is likely to come in an effort to keep him on the field and eventually get the suspension reduced or overturned.
But there is a chance, however slim, that Elliott will just take his medicine and start serving his suspension without a further fight. The Cowboys are on a bye this week, so that option to start serving his punishment would start in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers.
So you may be asking now, who is Elliott’s backup on Dallas’ depth chart?
One of Elliott’s backups in 2016, Darren McFadden, has yet to be active for a game this season. He also only played three games last season after a preseason elbow injury. That leaves Alfred Morris, who has eight carries for 87 yards in three games this season, and Rod Smith (two carries for eight yards in five games) behind Elliott right now.
If Morris sounds like a familiar name, it’s because he is (or should be). He started his career with the Washington Redskins as a sixth-round pick in 2012, sharing a backfield with some guy name Robert Griffin III, and he finished second in the NFL in rushing as a rookie with 1,613 yards. He followed that up with 1,275 rushing yards in 2013 (fourth in the league), and another 1,000-yard season in 2014 (1,074 yards).
Morris also spent last season with the Cowboys, after signing as a free agent. He finished with 69 carries for 243 yards and two touchdowns over 14 games in limited work behind Elliott.