With Elliott out, Cowboys' backfield goes from one-man band to committee

From ESPN - October 12, 2017

FRISCO, Texas -- In the back of their minds the Dallas Cowboys had to know this was coming with Ezekiel Elliott.

With the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday vacating the injunction that had allowed the Dallas Cowboys running back to play, Elliott is facing the six-game suspension that was handed down by the NFL in August for violating the personal conduct policy. And the Cowboys are facing life as a sub-.500 team trying to win games without their top offensive threat until the Nov. 30 meeting against the Washington Redskins.

Replacing Elliott will not be easy.

In last Sundays loss to the Green Bay Packers, he appeared to find his stride with 13 carries for 85 yards in the fourth quarter. He had 31 yards on 16 carries in the first three quarters, but Elliott -- and maybe more importantly the coaches -- found a number of runs that equaled success.

In the first four games and three quarters of the fifth game, the Cowboys running game was running into a wall. Their hope was the defenses would eventually wear down, but it did not happen enough.

Without Elliott, the Cowboys cant rely on Alfred Morris, Rod Smith and Darren McFadden to wear down a defense in the same manner.

Singularly, they dont have Elliotts combination of speed, power, elusiveness and strength. Collectively, they might.

The Cowboys will have to go from a one-man band in the running game -- Elliott has 105 of the 115 carries by Dallas running backs so far -- to a committee.


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