Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott is key against the Packers
Jan 1, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) on the sidelines against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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When looking at running backs regular season performances, there are few who probably thought a rookie would top the list. We all believed that Ezekiel Elliott would most likely have a good season. Especially when you look at the offensive line of Dallas and having a healthy Tony Romo back in the mix. The Cowboys came into to 2016 believing that Elliott could break the 1,000-yard mark in his first season. But I’m sure many of us would have never guessed that Zeke would finish third in NFL history for rushing yards by a rookie.
If you were to tell people before the season that the Dallas Cowboys would be led by a 4th round pick rookie quarterback and a rookie running back, you would have probably prepared yourself for another 4 and 12 season. But what happened this season was truly miraculous. They shocked all of us with Dallas finishing the season 13 and 3. Zeke showed that he could live up to all the hype that surrounded him going into this year’s draft. The speed, the vision, the agility, pass blocking, and the power. It’s all there! Now many are saying, “you could plug in any running back and they would rush for 1,000 yards behind that o-line.”. Sure, you could say that. But I doubt anyone would have believed that he would have come close to passing Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record. Prescott deserves credit for having the season he had and taking pressure off of Ezekiel Elliott and their run offense.
Dak Prescott and Zeke have been absolutely magnificent throughout the entire regular season. Showing incredible poise and ball security for two rookies in such pivotal positions. They gave themselves home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They have made it to the pro bowl in their first seasons. Now, it’s time for them to show if they have one it takes to silence the critics for good. They are facing off against one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Aaron Rodgers.
Many people are reverting back to the week 6 matchup between these two teams to say why the Cowboys will win. Even though Dallas went into Green Bay and handled Rodgers and the Packers. However many believe that it will simply not be the same kind of game. The Packers are the hottest team in the league and are currently on a 7 game win streak. During that 7 week stretch, their defense is only allowing 17.8 points to opposing teams and haven’t allowed an opposing back to break 100 yards rushing.
Sure, Ezekiel Elliott ran for 157 against them in week 6. But this Packers team is playing at a whole nother level from when they last saw each other. If Elliott can find rushing lanes and help Prescott. The Cowboys should and will win this game. But if Ezekiel can’t break the hundred yard mark and find the end zone at least once. Then we have a very good chance of hearing fans cheering, “GO PACK GO!” next week in the NFC championship.