If there’s one knock on the way the Cowboys roster is currently constructed, it always seems to be on defense — although after limiting Cincinnati to 14 points Sunday, it’s a top-10 unit in terms of points allowed. Regardless, even coach Jason Garrett felt the team needed to upgrade that side of the ball in the draft this offseason.
Then again, Ezekiel Elliott was simply too good to pass up.
That’s what Garrett told the CBS broadcast crew of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms anyway, per Jon Machota for the Dallas Morning News. The seventh-year head coach acknowledged the Cowboys went into the draft knowing they needed help on defense, but the feeling was Elliott is a special talent, somebody who could be enshrined in the Hall of Fame one day.
It’s only been five games, but right now, it’s difficult to argue with that sentiment. Since getting out to a slow start, the Ohio State product has lived up to the hype of being the fourth overall pick. Sunday was Elliott’s best game yet, rushing for 134 yards on 15 carries with 2 touchdowns. It was the third straight game he went over the century mark, giving him 546 yards for the season with a 5.0 average and 5 touchdowns.
Again, it’s five games. Elliott is playing behind a stacked offensive line with a quarterback that can keep defenses honest. The situation in Dallas is one where it’s set up for a running back to succeed, as evidence by the resurgence of Alfred Morris this season. After posting career lows in Washington in 2015, the fifth-year veteran is averaging 4.3 yards per carry with two touchdowns for the Cowboys.
Even just from a physical standpoint though, Elliott is different. At 6-foot, 225 pounds with 4.4 speed, he’s Adrian Peterson-like in terms of measurables. At just 21 years of age, if Elliott can stay healthy, it’s not difficult to envision him making it to Canton someday.