In order for the Dallas Cowboys to be successful in 2017, they’ll need the player that gives opposing defensive coordinators nightmares to be on the field.
Recently, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is bracing for a possible short suspension stemming from two alleged incidents of domestic violence in 2016, which could be deemed as a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.
If Elliott is indeed suspended, it could result in him missing the Cowboys regular season opener against the New York Giants. This could be potentially devastating as the Giants were the only team to defeat Dallas twice last season. Although both contested were determined by a combined four total points.
With another offseason training program under their belts, both second-year phenoms Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott, the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, are expected to take another step in their development and have even bigger impacts in 2017.
When asked which Cowboys player induces the most fear in opposing teams between Prescott and Elliott, one NFC East insider believed the answer was an easy one.
"“What [Dak Prescott] did last season as a rookie who was drafted in the fourth round was spectacular,” wrote ESPN New York Giants reporter Jordan Raanan recently. “The way he played in that playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers should have erased any doubts that he will be a star. But Elliott already is a star. He’s the player who gives defensive coordinators nightmares, not Prescott. At least, not yet.”"
Under center, Prescott may have the more important role out of the two. But Elliott is the one that opposing defenses fear. His presence on the field is paramount. Without him, the onus of the offense falls to Dak and the Cowboys passing attack. That lack of balance could ultimately hurt the team.
The fact is the Dallas Cowboys need Elliott to be on the field this season. The young superstar needs to understand just how important his availability is to America’s Team and he must be more responsible off-the-field in order to stay on it. Because all the talent in the world will do nothing if it’s stuck on the sidelines.
Bottom line: Ezekiel Elliott needs to remain a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators and not become one for his own team.