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RB Ezekiel Elliott - Dallas Cowboys

6-0, 225Born: 7-22-1995College: Ohio StateDrafted: Round 1, pick 4

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Photo: Kevin Jairaj, US Presswire

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Elliott will be suspended for six games of the NFL season under the personal conduct policy. A court ruling has allowed him to play through Week 9, but his suspension will begin in Week 10. He will return in Week 16.

Week 15: at Oakland Raiders

All RB vs OAK

FBG says: Neutral matchup. The duo of Rod Smith and Alfred Morris led the Cowboys backfield to another solid showing on the ground last week as they amassed 109 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Giants. Smith and Morris virtually split snaps with Morris getting just four more plays than Smith, but Morris remains the clear first/second down back as he racked up 19 carries compared to Smith's six. Both players contributed in the passing game, but Smith had a massive day sparked by an 81-yard touchdown reception that blew the game wide open in the second half. With Tyron Smith and Zack Martin both back and playing, a healthy Cowboys offensive line will be a tough matchup for any opposing defense. Alfred Morris will continue to lead the backfield next week until Ezekiel Elliott returns in Week 16. The Raiders run defense continues to be mediocre as they are statistically in the middle for most categories. They had a tough time keeping Kareem Hunt contained last week as he rushed for 10 or more yards on three plays on his way to 116 rushing yards with a 4.6 yards per carry average. This was a step back after the Raiders locked down a couple of very bad backfields for the past two weeks. We have seen opposing running backs get the best of the Raiders with an 80+ yard game allowed to five different running backs over the course of the season, but other than those few games, the Raiders have done a decent job managing opposing backfields. Navarro Bowman continues to play well while their weaker defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes actually had a solid outing last week and has been playing well over the last five weeks. Still, though, the Cowboys have the definite advantage in the trenches and should get the edge in this one.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumLPts
15 at OAK PROJ-Tremblay * 0 * * 0 * * * *
15 at OAK PROJ-Bloom * 0 * * 0 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 9 vs KC (27 / 93 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

With another game of activity pending Elliott's suspension outcome later this week, Elliot was the feature element against Kansas City with 27 touches. In 7-of-8 games this season Elliott has at least 25 touches in a game. This week featured tough sledding, especially in the first half. However, the second half was kicked off by an Elliott carry featuring a jump cut and hurdling a defender. While Elliott's performance lacked his typical big gains, short-yardage situations were key to his quality showing. Elliott converted a goal line carry and later in the second half a key third-and-one in the red zone as Dallas churned out the home victory. Most curious was Elliott's absence from the passing game. After a strong start to the season (16 receptions in first month of the season), Elliott has three receptions total over the last four games including zero targets this week. If active for Week 10, Atlanta marks another strong matchup for Elliott in Rush Efficiency allowed.

2017 Week 8 vs WAS (33 / 150 / 2 rush, 2 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)

With another game of activity as his suspension looms, Elliott was the engine of the Dallas offense, accounting for 34 touches and more than 150 total yards. This was Elliott's largest workload of the season and Dallas' offensive line arguably played their best game of the season in the run game. Elliott lost a fumble on his opening carry of the game, his lone blemish, as Washington was staked in field goal range as a result. Elliott quickly turned around his game, however, consistently gaining quality yardage on inside runs. Elliott converted his short-yardage opportunities, including third-and-one, fourth-and-one, and a goal line carry. His two-touchdown performance could have been three scores as a chunk gain through a wide open running lane was called back by holding. Projecting ahead after a possible suspension starting next week, Elliott would still have strong rushing efficiency matchups late in the season with Oakland and Seattle in Weeks 15-16.

2017 Week 7 vs SF (26 / 147 / 2 rush, 3 / 1 / 72 / 1 rec)

With his suspension yet to be finalized, Elliott was active for the Cowboys in Week 7 and their impressive road victory over the 49ers. Elliott was efficient from the start as he consistently churned out yards after contact and the offensive line had their best showing of the season paving holes on the ground. Elliott plunged in for a goal line touchdown and dragged a defender into the end zone for a second score early in the game. Rounding out his complete performance, Elliott turned his lone reception into a 72-yard touchdown with speed to the edge and an outstanding cutback to find the end zone on the screen pass. By the mid-fourth quarter Elliott was on the sideline as Dallas cruised to the 30-point win as No.3 running back Rod Smith milked the clock to close the game.

2017 Week 5 vs GB (29 / 116 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)

Elliott had tough sledding against Green Bay with a season-high 30 touches. His volume was high on the opening drive, but did not begin to find a rhythm until the fourth quarter. Dallas' offensive line has been up-and-down as a run-blocking unit through the opening month of the season and this week was no exception. Elliott found room to the perimeter for 25 yards early in the fourth quarter, turning into a string of quality runs as Dallas looked to secure the win. Elliott, like on the opening drive, was the centerpiece element of Dallas' scoring drive to take lead late in the game. A highlight of Elliott's game was converting on fourth-and-one (ultimately reviewed) with second effort through contact. Elliott did not see an optimal goal line opportunities or much work in the passing game as Dallas worked through their wide receivers more this week and Elliott blocked on plenty of snaps.

2017 Week 4 vs LAR (21 / 85 / 1 rush, 5 / 4 / 54 / 1 rec)

Unlike tough games against Denver and Arizona the previous two games, Elliott provided a more sustaining element to the Dallas offense against the Rams. Elliott had four rushes on the opening drive alone. Elliott was at his best near the end zone as he powered through two defenders on the sideline, diving for the pylon and the touchdown on one of the four receptions. Elliott got the edge on a goal line carry, ending just short of the end zone only to power in for the score on the next carry. Elliott ran with power consistently on the interior and the initial Rams defender struggled to stop Elliott in space. In the final minute, Elliott charged through defenders on a fourth-and-10 reception, coming up one yard short in Dallas' comeback bid.

2017 Week 3 vs ARI (22 / 80 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)

Elliott dominated the backfield work for Dallas as expected against Arizona, rarely leaving the field. Nearly 50 of his 80 yards on the ground were collected on two chunk gains, one an outstanding broken tackle at the line of scrimmage and advancing through a cutback angle. Most of Elliott's attempts were met by Arizona penetration as Elliott struggled to take more than a handful of steps before going down. In the closing minutes, however, the Dallas offensive line opened two of their most impressive holes of the game as Elliott logged back-to-back red zone runs, the second ending with the game-clinching touchdown. With Dallas' low-volume passing attack this week, Elliott led the team with four targets on dump-off receptions.

2017 Week 2 vs DEN (9 / 8 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 14 / 0 rec)

Elliott had his worst game as a pro in Week 2, stifled en route to 22 total yards on 13 touches. Dallas consistently trailed by multiple touchdowns and Denver's front seven offered little room for error by Dallas' usually strong offensive line. Elliott was the target as opposed to his typical style of doling out contact beyond the line of scrimmage. Elliott's lone glimmers of opportunity were converting a fourth down carry late in the third quarter and receiving a goal line attempt, which was stuffed before it started. Week 3 offers another strong test for Dallas' offense against Arizona.

2017 Week 1 vs NYG (24 / 104 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 36 / 0 rec)

With 29 touches Elliott was the central figure of the Dallas offense. Darren McFadden was a surprise inactive after running as the No.2 back for Dallas in the preseason. Alfred Morris rarely saw the field as Elliott dominated snaps against the Giants. It was a slow start for Elliott as he ran into contact for modest gains early on. However, Elliott's opportunities in space expanded as the game progressed. By late in the second quarter Elliott's physical running style - and Dallas' sheer volume of plays in the first half - took their toll and Elliott's rate of breaking tackles increased. Elliott logged three straight chunk gains as the first half concluded and punished the Giants in the second half as Dallas began to milk the clock. Elliott did not see any optimal looks for the touchdown in the game as Dallas' lone drive to the goal line ended with three straight targets in Dez Bryant's direction, a notable change from Elliott's typical chances to churn into the end zone a year ago in those situations.

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Schedule

15@ Oakland Raiders
16vs Seattle Seahawks
17@ Philadelphia Eagles