Ezekiel Elliott is set up for a big season in Dallas.
Jerry Jones always has an interesting perspective on the Dallas Cowboys. This season he believes that his star running back, Ezekiel Elliott, is primed for a monster season. On this occasion, the vocal owner has to be right.
Jones believes that Elliott can focus more on football this season since he doesn’t have a potential suspension from the NFL hanging over his head. That’s pretty sound logic. It’s difficult to do your job at a high level when you know you could be yanked out of the lineup at any moment.
This season, Elliott is under no such pressure. To the best of everyone’s knowledge, he’ll be free to play football all season long. That could have a profound effect on his ability to lead the Cowboys offense. Of course, there’s one even bigger reason that Elliott should be poised to have a career year.
The reality of the Cowboys offense is that Elliott is suddenly alone as the team’s primary playmaker. Dez Bryant isn’t there to command the ball on the outside any longer. Jason Witten won’t be lining up at tight end to provide Dak Prescott with a top-notch security blanket. Elliott could easily be the only Cowboys skill player in contention for the Pro Bowl this year.
Elliott registered 322 carries as a rookie, but his total dwindled to 242 during his 2017 season, due in part to his suspension. It’s very possible he’ll establish a new career high this year. The strength of the Cowboys offense this season has to be its rushing attack. Jason Garrett will lean heavily on Elliott and his talented offensive line to control the opposition.
The one concern is whether or not Dallas has enough talent at wide receiver to prevent defenses from stacking the box. That’s certainly a valid question, but don’t forget about Prescott’s ability to get out on the perimeter and make plays. It’s not something he’s done a ton of at the pro level, but it may emerge as a valuable weapon this season in the absence of great receivers.
The bottom line here is that the Cowboys are going to give Elliott every carry he can handle this season. That could lead the talented runner to an MVP-caliber season in Big D.