Zeke Elliott will never again be what he once was. Ever. BUT- he’s probably just got one more year here and accepting who Zeke is now and understanding how he could still help us WIN is a good step forward. So let’s look at why Zeke has declined and how he can still help us.
WHY ZEKE HAS DECLINED:
- His body has endured a ton of touches since college.
- This goes all the way back to his days at Ohio state. He had 650 touches- rushing and receiving at OSU in 3 years.
- In 6 seasons of NFL games, he has an additional 1938 total touches- that’s a whopping 2,588 which averages out to nearly 300 touches a year for 9 straight seasons.
That’s a tough load for anyone’s body. He’s no longer capable of 350 touch season that gives us what we need to win. We need to accept him having a lesser role.
HOW CAN ZEKE STILL BE USED TO HELP US WIN:
- Zeke has evolved from an explosive quick strike back to a slower, methodical power back. It makes zero sense for the Cowboys to pretend he is ever going to be what he was in 2016-19.
- Here’s how we can use him and help us win. Use Zeke as a power back and situational receiver who needs about 12-15 touches a game- MAX. Using Pollard MORE helps this team have more chances for a big play. Keeping Zeke at 20 touches a game reduces our big play chances.
- He needs to be in a RBBC. Using Zeke, Tony Pollard and perhaps another back is a great way to have a better situational running game. We just need him to be part of helping this team win.
- He would make an excellent goal line and short yardage runner. Maybe even a great close out runner in the role Marion Barber played about 15 years ago. But his load needs to be managed carefully. He doesn’t have a productive 20-25 carry game left in him IMO.
With all that’s been said above, I fully expect Zeke to be in his usual role because of Jerry. JJ always plays his players based 100% on how much he’s paying them as opposed to how much he helps the TEAM. Tony Pollard should be at least 12 touches a game himself.
Zeke Elliott can still help this team win. But he would give us a better chance by reducing his role.