And you ask who’s going to run the ball for the Dallas Cowboys if Elliott is gone?
Well, that’s why the team still has Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris, Ronnie Hillman and undrafted rookie Jahad Thomas. None of these players, as individuals, equal Elliott, but collectively they could get the rushing yards needed to win football games.
Let’s remember that just three years ago it was a guy named DeMarco Murray who led the NFL in rushing – same as Elliott did a year ago – behind an offensive line that was just emerging as the best in the league. That’s two rushing titles in three years by two different running backs.
In fact, during the disaster of 2015, which led to the Cowboys choosing fourth in the ’16 player selection meeting, McFadden, thought to be over-the-hill and out of gas, still broke 1,000 yards rushing and proved that he still can perform at a high level behind a great group of blockers.
Throw in as many as 300 yards rushing from quarterback Dak Prescott over the course of the season, and I’m certain that the Cowboys vaunted offense would still eclipse that 2,000 yard mark that’s so important when it comes to earning postseason invitations.
Even if Elliott’s off-the-field behavior wasn’t a concern, I would still ponder the idea of trading a player at a position that’s much more expendable than it was in years past. Franchise running backs are ideal only when they really are the right player with the right focus.
I can’t say for sure that Elliott might not hurt the Cowboys just as much as he helps them moving ahead. Elliott leaves huge questions surrounding whether or not he is cut out for his current role in Dallas, and that’s a shame.
The reality is that the ”running back by committee” approach can also win Super Bowls, at least until the right guy emerges who can be featured.
Even though Jones wouldn’t have the same kind of leverage in an Elliott trade that he did in the Walker trade, the value would almost certainly be worth getting the growing headaches surrounding Elliott in the rear view mirror while topping off an already talented roster for championship contention for the next decade.