An unnamed NFL offensive coach believes Ezekiel Elliott isn’t a top ten running back.
The Dallas Cowboys are used to being a hot topic. That is a given when you play for Jerry Jones and America’s Team, not only one of the most popular franchises in the entire league, but one of the more well-known, popular, and polarizing sports brands in the entire world.
With that knowledge in tow, it is never a shocker at any point and time to see them or one of their players be the topic of conversation, fodder, or especially criticism. This time though, during a down period of NFL and sports news, in general, someone really went out on a limb with a proclamation.
Needless to say, they proverbially fell off of that limb. Here is the sentiment, as mined by Marcus Mosher who covers the Cowboys for a variety of outlets, via this piece from ESPN plus (subscription required).
Not only is this take just wrong, but it is also flat out asinine. There is no world, no arena, no football league anywhere in which you can name 10 better ball carriers from the running back position than Ezekiel Elliott, or at any position for that matter.
Dallas Cowboys running back, Ezekiel Elliott, is a top 10 back in the league. Why are we even debating this?
Most will say that we are biased, but even if we weren’t, it just doesn’t make sense. Just glancing over the rushing stats from last season, where Zeke ranked fourth and without a healthy Todd Gurley who ranked 20th last season in rushing, there is no other back in Elliott’s class as far as what he can do on the field and what he has done.
Christian McCaffrey is a good back, but he hasn’t shown the consistency over the seasons that Elliott has shown yet, neither has Nick Chubb. Derrick Henry is an awesome runner, but he is nowhere near as versatile as Elliott is in all facets of the game.
Todd Gurley, as mentioned a little bit ago, is the only back in Zeke’s class but his health is a major question mark heading into his inaugural season in Atlanta. Saquon Barkley is arguably the most talented back in the league, but he has yet to put together a complete season that’s as eye-popping as some of the singular plays that he makes, be that his fault or by nature of the team’s situation.
We aren’t the only ones though who thought that this sentiment from the mystery coach was bologna. Here is what the man in question himself had to say, via his own Twitter account.
Stealing his own line, Elliott may have correctly assessed that situation. You have to assume that the mystery coach was out of is head when he said that right? Who knows? What we do know though is that he couldn’t have been more wrong, as again, there is no world where Ezekiel Elliott isn’t a top 10 back in the NFL.