Could Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension be a rallying cry for a team growing desperate to prove that 2016 was no fluke?
If all goes at expected, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will begin serving a six-game suspension this week, which will keep him out of action until a Week 15 matchup with the struggling Oakland Raiders in Northern California.
Some in the mainstream sports media think that this spells doom for the Cowboys. How on earth could the Dallas offense possibly function without the services of last year’s NFL rushing champion, right?
I distinctly recall Alfred Morris taking off for 70 yards during that Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
I also recall Darren McFadden, inactive all of this year to date, rushing for over 1,000 yards just two seasons ago during that awful 4-12 campaign that ended up being the final season for now-retired Tony Romo, who’s slated to help Jim Nantz call Sunday’s game between the Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs on CBS.
Three seasons ago, DeMarco Murray led the league in rushing during a 12-4 campaign that saw him perform like he never has since.
Elliott might not be available, but that offensive line that’s been looking better and better over the last three to four games will be. If that unit isn’t the best in the league, they’re certainly near the very top, which few dispute.
No, Elliott’s suspension is not a good thing, but there could be a benefit here.
The plus for the Dallas Cowboys could end up being a virtual finger of distinction being held up straight in the face of the biggest detriment to the NFL right now: Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Give a person, or a team in this case, a cause and you just might end up with a greater sense of determination and pride than you might expect. The feeling at The Star in Frisco, Texas is that Elliott is being railroaded by a commissioner who’s out of control and has lost sense of what’s most important for the most popular sports league in the United States.
You’re aware of all the controversies that the NFL is dealing with right now. Adding to the growing sense of dissatisfaction is likely to be the potentially unjustified suspension of arguably the most popular player in the league. Goodell likes to get his nose wet in some dangerous ponds, but this one is going to bite hard.
Upsetting the largest fan base in the United States is never a good idea. This is only true when the reasoning is questionable, at best. With empty seats showing up in stadiums and ratings on television taking a dip as well, Goodell may have set his final course for early retirement with this Elliott situation.
But for Cowboys Nation, this issue now extends to the emotional side of the brain that feels both victimized and unjustly treated.
There’s no better motivator.
Ezekiel Elliott’s situation is not an act of God that nobody can take responsibility for. On the contrary, it appears much more like a marauding executive trying to double as some kind of activist in an area with which there’s no expertise.
The Dallas Cowboys locker room likely isn’t looking at Elliott and feeling as though he did this to himself. What I’ve been hearing all along is that there’s big holes in both the Elliott accusations and the league’s investigation that leaves the courts looking ridiculous. Elliott’s teammates might well see him – and themselves – as victims in this case.
If this is true, watch out Andy Reid – and don’t try that silly game-opening onside kick again.