9. Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back
The former All-Pro running back has found himself on this list largely due to his past accomplishments. It would be absurd not to have Zeke, the two-time rushing champion (2016 and 2018), on a list of the ten best players on America’s Team. However, the young running back has struggled tremendously so far this season.
The Dallas Cowboys selected running back Ezekiel Elliott in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft as the number four overall pick. Elliott emerged from Ohio State as the consensus best running back in his draft class.
The young rusher wasted no time proving his scouts right. In his rookie season, Elliott paced the league in rushing yards, finishing the year with an eye-popping 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.
The young running back became an instant favorite for fans of America’s Team who pleaded with the team to continue “feeding” their star rusher. The team obliged the request of its fans and Elliott led the league in rushing attempts twice in his first three seasons in the league.
The fifth-year back managed to leverage his stellar start to his career into a massive contract extension. The Cowboys made him one of the highest-paid running backs in the league last year when the two sides agreed to a massive six-year, $90 million contract extension.
However, the fifth-year back is currently in the midst of the worst season in his young career. Currently posting an abysmal 3.9 rushing yards per attempt and leading the league in lost fumbles with four the 25-year old rusher has struggled to live up to his massive contract thus far.
When Cowboys owner Jerry Jones proclaimed that Ezekiel Elliott was the teams’ best player this year it was absurd. However, it would perhaps be equally absurd not to recognize the incredible start to his career that Zeke has had thus far. Regardless of his struggles this season he is still a very important player for Dallas and deserves a place on this list out of respect for all that he has done for the organization in his career.