Dallas Cowboys: Is Ezekiel Elliott being rightfully judged?

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /

Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t looked the same, and everyone is letting him hear it

The Dallas Cowboys are having a nightmare season. Not many players are performing well, and fans and analysts alike are ripping them apart. One name that keeps coming up is running back Ezekiel Elliott.

There are two sides to this argument. People believe his contract eliminates any excuses for a decline in production or that injuries to the team are to blame. Let’s dive into both sides.

The Case Against Ezekiel Elliott

In his first three seasons, Zeke has been a dominant force that led the league in rushing yards twice. He was averaging 90+ yards per game, scored touchdowns, and was able to pitch in for the passing game.

Now all of a sudden, the former fourth overall pick threatens to sit out the season in an attempt to receive a hefty contract. Elliott didn’t play so well when ink hit the paper.

To no one’s surprise, he won’t be around the 2,000 scrimmage yards this season. Before his contract extension, he racked up yards with ease.

His yards per game have dropped season after season since his monster rookie year. It is bound to continue it’s trend down the drain, all while players on far cheaper contracts play better. The “best running back in the league” shouldn’t average only 3.9 yards per rushing attempt.

Elliott hasn’t had a single run of 45+ yards since Week 16 of the 2016 season. When you have the largest contract for a running back in the NFL, you can’t play like an average player. You need to make big plays and be a difference-maker, which he hasn’t been.

One thing he does very well is handing the ball off to the defense. He has at least five fumbles in three of his five seasons, including this season, with eight games remaining.

The Dallas Cowboys are better off trading him away, salvaging some draft picks, and grabbing someone in the fourth round. You get the same amount of production for a fraction of the price.

Dallas paid Zeke, and that means the Cowboys will have trouble with the salary cap. That means they will have a more difficult time allocating money elsewhere (such as toward quarterback Dak Prescott). Then worse players will be on the roster.

That one mistake will cause problems for the entirety of his contract. That is all in the most replaceable position in the sport of football.