Landon Collins says no Ezekiel Elliott deprives Giants chance to 'play the best'Landon Collins says no Ezekiel Elliott deprives Giants chance to 'play the best'
The suspension of Ezekiel Elliott by the NFL for the first six games of the season certainly impacts the Dallas Cowboys. It also throws up in the air an NFC East that was seemingly tilted in the direction of the Cowboys, the prohibitive favorites to win the division.
While Elliott's suspension helps the other teams in the NFC East, at least one player isn’t too happy about it: New York Giants safety Landon Collins isn’t giddy to see Elliott on the sidelines, even as his team opens the season against Dallas and won’t have to face the star running back.
Collins explained why he wasn’t pleased to see the Cowboys without Elliott, making his remarks following the Giants preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday night.
“Because you want to play against the best to be one of the best, and he is one of the best out there,” Collins said. “You want to play against the best to prove yourself as a defense, as a whole, so you don’t have to deal with the backlash of, ‘if this person wasn’t here and that person wasn’t here’.”
Last year, Elliott looked nothing like a rookie for the Cowboys. He rushed for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns. The 2016 first round pick’s emergence was a major reason why the Cowboys surprised many en route to an NFC East division title.
The fact that he will miss the first six games of the season for the Cowboys certainly sees his team come down to earth a little bit, his suspension likely hurting their chances to repeat as division champions.
Collins was an All-Pro and a Pro Bowl selection in 2016 for a Giants team that made the playoffs and finished second in the NFC East. While he isn’t relieved that Elliott won’t be on the other side of the ball come Week 1, he admits that the running back’s absence is a big deal.
“It’s a big difference. He’s the difference maker of that team. He kind of just sets the tone of the offense and they are definitely handing the ball of to him on first down to set the tone,” Collins said. “He’s a big difference maker for them.”