Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t had the season he expected. He has no 100-yard games, the longest stretch of his career without one, and his four lost fumbles lead all NFL running backs.
The two-time NFL season rushing leader ranks only 11th in rushing yards with 572 yards, which trails rushing leader Dalvin Cook by 382 yards.
Apparently, though, it is the season owner Jerry Jones expected of his $90 million running back.
“Well, I think we’re selling him short,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan on Friday. “You say, ‘Well, numbers don’t sell anything short.’ But I think you’re selling him short. He’s, certainly early, when we were full blown on offense, he was making some things happen, got those turnovers early that put a lot of focus on what he was doing. But still, I know the impact he has on opposing defenses. I know what I see him do relative to the kind of thing he brings to football. His physicalness, his enthusiasm, his ability to just his innate — he’s our best football player. He’s our best one. And having said that, we just got to have more chances to expose him to the defense and we’re going to do that.”
The show hosts weren’t sure they heard what they heard, so Kevin Hageland asked Jones to clarify: “I just want to make sure I caught that part right. Like, he’s your best running back or he’s the best player on the team?”
“In my mind, he’s our best player,” Jones responded.
Which, frankly, says a lot about why the Cowboys are 2-7. Even if Jones was eliminating injured players such as Dak Prescott and Tyron Smith, from the equation, right guard Zack Martin is one of the best at his position in NFL history and could be the team’s only Pro Bowler. CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper have made more big plays than Elliott, and Cooper and Lamb both have more receiving yards than Elliott has rushing yards despite having played with four starting quarterbacks.
One even could argue that Tony Pollard, with fewer opportunities, has been the Cowboys’ best running back and deserves a bigger role. Pollard has averaged 4.4 yards a carry to Elliott’s 3.8.
And if the Cowboys have any hope of winning the NFC East, Andy Dalton better be their best player the rest of the season.
Jerry Jones: Ezekiel Elliott is our best football player originally appeared on Pro Football Talk