Things didn’t go quite as planned for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. After coming into the weekend undefeated, they suffered a surprising 28-16 loss to the previously winless Arizona Cardinals. Afterward, ESPN analyst Robert Griffith III said that one of the things the team is missing right now is a player they simply let walk away.
The former quarterback suggested following the defeat that the Cowboys may have jumped the gun by letting the former All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott go. It’s a sentiment that has been echoed by some others around The League – most notably Cowboy Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith – and many fans in Big D, as well. They feel that owner Jerry Jones may have given up on the former two-time NFL rushing leader way too soon.
“It felt like two or three years, everyone … was talking about Zeke being washed up,” Griffin III said. “But the bottom line is, the Dallas Cowboys miss Zeke right now.
“Last year he was 17-1 on third and fourth down conversions, short-yardage situations. In the red zone, when you have a hammer like Ezekiel Elliott, it could take pressure off the quarterback.”
The Cowboys released Elliott, their 2016 first-round pick, after a 2022 campaign that saw him only post 876 yards rushing. They replaced him with the slighter younger, slightly less expensive Tony Pollard, a fourth-round selection in 2019. And to be fair to the ‘new guy’? He’s done pretty well in his own right.
Pollard has been a workhorse for the ‘Boys thus far, racking up a league-leading 62 carries with 264 yards and two touchdowns, along with 12 catches for 48 yards. On the other hand? Elliott has seen more time as a contributor. But even though he isn’t the number one back for the Patriots, he did manage a nice on Sunday –
The Cowboys finished 12-5 last season, second in the NFC East. They advanced to the NFC Divisional Round of the Playoffs before ultimately being eliminated by
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