Ezekiel Elliot has returned this season in the best shape of his career, but this may not be enough to return the former All-Pro running back to his glory days of just a couple of years ago. Elliott’s yards-per-game average has gone down every season since his rookie year. Rushing for 1,631 yards in his rookie campaign of 2016, Elliot may have set the bar a little too high right out of college. Elliot rushed for 108.7 yards/game that season, but was down to only 65.3 last year.
Injuries along the offensive line over the past couple of years get some of the blame, but anyone that watched the Cowboys regularly in 2020 could see that Zeke is not the same player he once was. We usually see running backs in the NFL begin to decline as they approach the age of 30. Elliott is just 26 years old, and by all accounts should be in the middle of his prime as a ball carrier. If last season is any indication, then Elliott’s prime is in the rearview.
Any fan holding out hope that Zeke will return to being a 1,500-plus yard rusher is living in a sweeter escape than Gwen Stefani. Those days are long over, and Elliott will be lucky to sniff 1,200 yards rushing this season.
No NFL owner cashes their quarterback out in the offseason then turns around the next season and has said quarterback hand the ball off 35 times per game. Prescott will make $75 million in the first year of his new deal. On top of that, Elliott is now splitting time in the backfield with Tony Pollard. The likelihood of Zeke topping 1,200 rushing yards is low. About as low as the Cowboys’ chances of making a Super Bowl appearance this season.
Regardless of how the season goes for Jones and his Cowboys, one thing we know for sure, it will be entertaining whether you are a fan of the team or not.