By Adam Collins
Many people debated the #4 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, but they can’t say much now. Ezekiel Elliott had one of the best rookie seasons a running back has ever had. Along the way, he and Dak Prescott revived the Dallas Cowboys franchise after Tony Romo went down in the Pre-Season. When Tony went down, CowboysNation feared another 4-12 or 8-8 season, but due to a huge season from the rookie duo, the Cowboys finished with a 13-3 regular season record. This tied the most wins ever in Dallas Cowboys regular season history and Zeke has a big part in it.
Ezekiel Elliott came so close to breaking Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record, and if the Cowboys hadn’t been doing so well as a team he would’ve probably beat it. Dallas was saving Zeke for the Playoffs so he didn’t play as much as he could’ve. Heck, he didn’t even play in our final game against the Eagles, where we decided to give Philly the easy W by throwing Mark Sanchez in the game.
Overall, I don’t think Zeke could’ve had any better of a rookie season. Elliott had 322 carries for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns. He lead the league in almost every statistic in the rushing category. Zeke not only carried the ball well last season, but he also was very effective in the passing game. Elliott made a huge splash in the passing game in both blocking and in receiving. Zeke totaled 32 receptions for 363 yards and 1 touchdown. To put that into perspective, Philly WR, Nelson Agholor, only had 36 receptions for 365 yards and 2 touchdowns… Yeah, you read that right. Zeke had almost identical numbers to a wide receiver…
Now many of you reading until now may say, “ZEKE IS JUST A PRODUCT OF THE O-LINE.” And yes, it is true that Dallas has a very good Offensive Line, but here’s one stat that will disprove the theory that Zeke is only a product of his O-Line. 932 yards after contact. To put that in perspective, only 14 running backs in the entire NFL had more than 932 yards in total rushing yards… That means that Zeke had more yards after being hit than all but 14 running back’s total rushing yards and that’s just insane.
Whether you’re a fan of the Cowboys or a fan of Zeke or not, you have to respect what Ezekiel Elliott did this season. It was truly magical and we can all hope that he continues to get better and can help lead the Cowboys to a 6th Super Bowl.
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