Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has made Bleacher Report’s list of players who could disappoint next season. The list takes a look at every team and makes note of the one player who could prove to be a disappointment in 2021. Elliott was the one picked for Dallas.
The player did have a mixed season this year, failing to get to 1000 yards for just the second time in his career and a first for a season in which he’s managed to play in every game. He also averaged 4.0 yards per carry, a career-low. Of course, one would expect that the return of Dak Prescott should lead to positive things for Elliott.
In the player’s defense, his body has been through a lot since he turned pro as he has carried 1,413 times in five seasons while making 241 catches. Elliott has led the league in rushing attempts on two occasions but, as BR would have it, his career is already approaching its back end and, while he can still be a solid RB option in the NFL, he isn’t worth the $13.7 million cap hit he’s due to bring into next season.
The Cowboys, however, are quite happy with Elliott. The running back was the model of consistency prior to the COVID-19 crisis hitting the United States. Zeke was always ready and awaiting the press after games, finding his locker and waiting to be approached for his thoughts while other players opted to shower before taking on interviews.
Ezekiel Elliott has been rather quiet this offseason, but he's definitely been putting in the work. And his teammates and coaches have certainly noticed.— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) June 18, 2021
Check out what they have to say about the veteran. ⬇️
This year is a different case as the player hasn’t been keen on dealing with the media during organized team activities or minicamps. While he’s been avoiding reporters, he can’t be accused of shirking other duties as it pertains to actually playing football and his activity hasn’t escaped the eyes of his teammates and coaches.
Prescott, for one, has taken notice of his teammate’s effort, claiming Elliott is in the best shape of his life. The QB, who turned pro the same year as Elliott, also expressed excitement at the prospect of playing with the running back next season and he’s branded him the best in the league when healthy.
"I'm excited to have a full year with him again and getting him healthy throughout the whole season. When Zeke's healthy and Zeke's doing his thing, he's the best running back in the league. It's just exciting to see him in the best shape of his life, or [at least the] best shape he's been in the NFL. That's going to be special for us moving forward."
Whether or not Elliott’s supposed resurgence will have a significant impact on the Cowboys’ outcome is left to be seen. The team will have an early test in the form of Super Bowl winners Tampa Bay in their first game of the season and Elliott and co. are 23/10 to win, with the Buccaneers 5/14. On that note, a Twinspires review would not go amiss.
Meanwhile, Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore also likes what he’s been seeing from Zeke.
"I think he looks really, really good," he offered. "Just fast, crisp. In and out of things. He looks really good and we're excited."
As mentioned before, the numbers were pretty low for the star last season, with 979 yards and eight touchdowns for the term. Things were so bad, people began suggesting Tony Pollard, a smaller player, albeit a faster one, could do more in his place. Pollard should have his own role next campaign and is also one of the folks who’s been left impressed by what they’ve seen from the former Ohio State star.
Pollard insists they’re both locked in ahead of the season and are getting ready for what lies ahead.
"He's definitely been locked in," Pollard declared. "I can tell he took the right step forward this offseason, getting his body right and being in shape. Me and him worked out together this offseason. We're both locked in this offseason getting ready."
So while Bleacher Report has Elliott down as someone who’s likely to leave fans infuriated next season, the people around him think otherwise and it’s already leaving a sense of excitement among Cowboys supporters, who are about done watching ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith have a laugh at their expense every season. Elliott is looking to change the narrative this year, from all indications. And that he’s blown off the media in order to stay focused speaks to how badly he wants things to work out in the upcoming campaign.Updated Date: 24 June 2021, 18:13