Cowboys’ Elliott makes Pro Football Network’s Top 100 list
The Dallas Cowboys struggled in a plethora of areas in 2020, leading to their 6-10 record. Many of the players on the roster took a step back, but Ezekiel Elliott’s shortcomings were most emphasized, and for good reason given his stature in the NFL.
Elliott’s total rushing yards (979) and yards per carry (4.0) were the lowest scores of his career. In addition, he tied a career low with just six rushing touchdowns. It wasn’t a pretty sight, but Pro Football Network still considers Elliott one of the best players in the league. They recently released part of their Top 100 list and Elliott came in at # 88.
From the play by Dalton Miller.
“Ezekiel Elliott is the definition of a cow back. Outside of his suspension in 2017, he has only missed three regular season games in his five-year career. During this time, he touched the ball 1,654 times in attack.
Elliott might not be the same home run hitter he was in 2016 out of Ohio State, but he’s one of the most reliable runners in the league to create one or two. other meters when it’s just not there. His vision as a runner is his strong point, and as long as he has it, he will be productive.
2020 was the first off season in Elliott’s career. He won two floor titles (2016, 2018) in his first three seasons. The only season he doesn’t have (2017), he led the league in yards per game (98.3) despite missing six games with a suspension. In 2019, the first year of his six-year, $ 90 million contract, Elliott was fourth in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, second in general-purpose yards and first in 100-yard games.
What contributed to Elliott’s downfall a season ago were injuries to other key players around him. Dak Prescott missed 11 games with an ankle injury. The lack of proper quarterback play allowed defenses to charge the box against Elliott and limit his effectiveness. His top three offensive linemen (Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, La’el Collins) missed 36 games, which led to 13 different line combinations that saw the field among the unit. This lack of continuity didn’t do Elliott a favor, either.
Turnovers are where Elliott needs to be better in 2021. After just six fumbles in his first two seasons, he has taken the ball 15 times in the past three, twice with six fumbles in a single year during of this period (2018, 2020).
Fortunately for the former fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, some factors are working in his favor in his attempt to regain his status as one of the league’s top rushers.
Prescott is back on the pitch and reportedly started football like the good old days, albeit in shorts and shoulder pads. His offensive line is also back in good health, and if that remains the case for the coming season, there is no doubt that he will be an efficient runner again.
Elliott has also been on a vigorous training program during the offseason, working closely with local running back guru Josh Hicks. Practice focused on Elliott being more explosive and elusive while carrying football, and Hicks claimed the former Ohio State Buckeye had never worked like this before in any offseason in his career.
– J. Hicks (@ 3hunnidGuru) July 5, 2021
The Cowboys’ bell cow is looking to step back in time, so to speak, to 2021 and add to an aerial assault that rivals any other in the NFL. If so, the Cowboys will have one of the best offensives in the league, and with improvements in defense, a playoff trip could be on the horizon.