The Cowboys picked Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall on Thursday night, marking the highest draft position for a running back since the Browns took Trent Richardson with the third pick in 2012.
By taking Elliott, the Cowboys passed on defensive players like Jalen Ramsey and DeForest Buckner who could have helped a unit that failed to impress last season. After the selection was made, though, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said it wasn’t a “pure offensive pick” and coach Jason Garrett explained why the team feels Elliott will make their defense better.
“Hopefully you possess the ball more,” Garrett said, via the team’s website. “You get more plays on offense, fewer plays on defense, and that allows your defense to play at a higher level. It’s similar to how we played a couple years ago, when we ran the ball so effectively — and I thought it had a really positive impact on everybody on our team. We believe Zeke gives us a chance to do that.”
Garrett also thinks Elliott will help the passing game be more effective and Jones shared his belief that running backs need less time to acclimate themselves to the professional game than players on the defensive side tend to need. Unmentioned was that Elliott’s decision to sport a crop top on his way into the draft showed a Texas-sized ability to land in the spotlight, which certainly isn’t something that Jones has frowned upon in the past.
Fashion sense aside, there’s some merit to all of the football-related points. Now Elliott just has to prove to be a better choice than Richardson was in Cleveland.