The Dallas Cowboys figure to field one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL this upcoming season with a healthy quarterback in Dak Prescott under center. But could the real resurgence of America’s Team actually come from its veteran running back?
Last season was a down season for fifth-year running back Ezekiel Elliott. The former first-rounder posted a career-low 979 rushing yards while averaging a lowly 65.3 yards on the ground per game. Zeke also tied a career-high in turnovers with six fumbles and dropped a whopping eight passes.
But the former two-time NFL rushing leader appears to be gearing up for a big bounce-back year in Dallas. That after reports coming out of OTAs indicated Elliott was doing some eyebrow-raising worthy things during practices.
Hall of Famer and former Cowboys executive turned NFL analyst, Gil Brandt, ranked Elliott fifth on his recent NFL.com list of nine players who are guaranteed to play better in 2021.
” … Elliott seems to be on the right track, apparently recommitting himself to being one of the league’s best ball carriers. Between that and the return to health of Dak Prescott, I expect a significant upturn in production from Elliott this year.”
Over the past five years, the Cowboys have only made the playoffs twice. Both years Elliott led the way, leading the NFL in rushing yardage each season. He rushed for a career-high 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns as a rookie in 2016. Zeke did it again two years later, rushing for a league-high 1,434 yards in 2018.
Reports this offseason indicate that the soon-to-be 26-year old Elliott is in the best shape of his life. And the fact that backup running back Tony Pollard looked like the better rushing option at times last season could not only serve as motivation for Zeke, but give the Cowboys their strongest one-touch punch in the backfield in years.
When the Dallas Cowboys have found playoff success over the past few years, it’s been with Ezekiel Elliott, not Dak Prescott, leading the charge. While the Cowboys are expected to put on an aerial display in Dallas as they possess one of the top wide receiver trios in all of football, Elliott should still serve as the primary weapon of choice behind a healthy offensive line.