Cowboys likely wouldn’t have been worse than 2-3 without Ezekiel Elliott

AP

If Ezekiel Elliott had served his six-game suspension to start the season, the Cowboys running back would have one game remaining. He would miss the Cowboys’ Oct. 22 game at San Francisco before returning.

The Cowboys celebrated when Elliott won a preliminary injunction, allowing him to start the season. But with him, the Cowboys went only 2-3.

Dallas likely wouldn’t have been any worse than that without Elliott. They beat the Giants and Cardinals and lost to the Broncos, Rams and Packers. The Giants and Cardinals are a combined 2-8, so the Cowboys had a good chance of beating those two teams whether Elliott played or not.

Elliott would have missed one division game — the season opener against the Giants — if he had served the suspension to start the season. He will miss two division games if he sits out the next six.

The Cowboys’ next six opponents are the 49ers, Redskins, Chiefs, Falcons, Eagles and Chargers.

Elliott has not been the MVP of the team’s offense as he was last season with defenses game planning to stop him.

Elliott has 105 carries for 393 yards and two touchdowns. He ranks fourth in rushing yards, but through five games last season, Elliott had 109 carries for 546 yards and five touchdowns.

He ended up leading the league in rushing as a rookie. It’s a safe bet he won’t lead the league in rushing this season.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2-1 decision to vacate the preliminary injunction on Elliott’s suspension ends a bad week for the Cowboys, who have a bye. To review, they lost a heart-breaker to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on Sunday; Jerry Jones publicly ordered his players to stand for the national anthem, prompting team meetings; defensive lineman Stephen Paea retired; the Cowboys cut Nolan Carroll; and the appeals court has now ruled against their star running.

5 responses to “Cowboys likely wouldn’t have been worse than 2-3 without Ezekiel Elliott

  1. Hindsight. Giants and Cardinals were not projected as creampuffs. That scheduled looked tough before the season started.

    Foresight: this could have stretched out long enough that his six games would spill into the post-season. Still could.

    Prediction: Elliot does NOT use this time off to lose the belly flab he’s gained. He’s gone from ripped abs to lardass. boom babba.

  2. Elliot was NOT the offense’s “MVP” last season, and it wasn’t even close. He is just as good this year as he was last year; but last year, the blocking carried him to great-looking success that mostly didn’t belong to him, and this year it hasn’t been dominant, making Elliot look like the good (but not close to elite) RB that he really is.

  3. That’s the risk you take in cases like this. Unless I was quite sure I could either get the entire suspension overturned or at very least drastically reduced I’d have advocated him taking the punishment early. Even had they gotten off to a rough start they’d still have had him back for a late-season run rather than facing the heart of the season and potential stretch drive without him.

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