Ezekiel Elliott key ingredient to Dallas Cowboys’ dominance

Ezekiel Elliott key ingredient to ’ dominance

Inspirational. That’s the word Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones used to describe the impact of a judge’s ruling that running back Ezekiel Elliott could play while his legal case against the NFL works its way through the court.

“Every person was lifted by that decision,” Jones said. “It was a good one. Although he was playing in this  game no matter what, the idea we can have his wholesale NFL jerseys cheap for an extended period of time was inspirational.”

That may be unseemly — after all, the NFL suspended Elliott for six games because it believes its year-long investigation showed he abused his former girlfriend — but it’s hard to argue that, in football terms, Jones is wrong.

The Cowboys beat the New york Giants, 19-3, Sunday night and if the most surprising part of the game was a suspension and injury-riddled defense suffocating the Giants, the most obvious ingredient to the Cowboys’ dominance was Elliott. He ran 24 times for 104 yards, and one glance at an inexplicable sequence when the Cowboys attempted three passes from first-and-goal at the 3 in the first quarter, and had to settle for a field goal, underscores Elliott’s gridiron value to the Cowboys. Dak Prescott can throw high. The offense can struggle to score. But if Elliott can chew the clock as he did late in the game, the Cowboys can squeeze the life from opponents. The Cowboys needed only look across to the opposite sideline to see how an offense can grind to a halt when its most critical force is absent.

The Giants’ chances for victory probably died when Odell Beckham Jr. was declared inactive before the game because of an ankle sprain, which meant there was nobody on the field to scare the Cowboys’ defense. Dallas’ season is very much alive because a judge said Elliott would be available, possibly for the entire year.

“I saw a player when he was in there, it looked impressive and when anybody else was in there, it didn’t look as impressive,” a giddy Jones said after the game. “It’s just obvious he has such speed and power.”

Nike Patriots #97 Alan Branch Navy Blue Team Color Men's Stitched NFL Vapor Untouchable Limited Jersey

Nike Patriots #97 Alan Branch Navy Blue Team Color Men’s Stitched NFL Vapor Untouchable Limited Jersey

No doubt. It is why the six-game suspension would have been devastating to the Cowboys, although Jason Witten said the team bonds together when it faces adversity. Elliott declined to say that his case has served as motivation now that the games have begun, and said that with a team this talented, he doesn’t have to do anything extra. Whether he is playing with a chip on his shoulder might be beside the point anyway. He is a thundering force for the Cowboys, angry or otherwise.

“Not good enough,” Lawrence said Wednesday of his performance, via the team’s official website. “I left a lot out there on the table. Got to get better from this wholesale NFL jerseys point on.”

It’s a very player-speak answer, and we’re sure his defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli appreciates Lawrence’s response.

The fourth-year defensive end has been a force through three games, gobbling up 6.5 sacks, 17 tackles and has chased the QB with the best of edge rushers.

The caveat to Lawrence’s insane start to the season is that he has faced three below-average pass blocking offensive lines in the NFL — New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Cardinals.

The 25-year-old QB seeker knows he has to carry the Cowboys’ defensive water as the season ramps up.

“Opportunity is out there,” he said, “and it’s like , just get better. Don’t dwell on the moment, but just get better and make more plays. Why not? They’re there.”

On Monday night, Bryant caught both of his two targets for 12 yards and a hard-fought touchdown. On paper, it leaves him in the lower half of the league’s top 100 receivers. Bryant isn’t worried about that, though, because he knows what matters is on tape, and in the win column.

“I felt good the whole night,” he said after the win Monday night, via the Dallas Morning News. “I made the most of my opportunities. Great team win.”

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Dallas overcame an early touchdown from the Cardinals to score 14 unanswered, thanks to an excellent performance from quarterback Dak Prescott and strong second half play from receivers Brice Butler and Terrance Williams. Bryant’s touchdown, though, might have shown the most effort of the entire night, which is part of why recent discussion about his statistical drop-off and potential decline are humorous to the receiver.

“That’s funny to me,” Bryant said. “That don’t bother me because I know who I am. Just because certain people don’t see me get targets this game, it don’t mean nothing.

“I feel like I got great film, I got great tape. That’s what I care about. That was my whole focus, coming out and putting great film out, and I think I did that [Monday night].”

Great tape goes beyond the stat sheet, and is a major reason why football is much, much more than how productive a guy is for your fantasy team. Through three games, it’s been evident opponents are focusing on doing whatever they can to take Bryant out of the game and force Dallas’ other receivers to beat them. On Monday night, that receiver was Butler. And make no mistake — that touchdown from Bryant was a darn good play due to .

If Bryant keeps commanding such attention, Dallas will be happy to utilize its other talents and continue earning victories. And if Bryant helps the team win, even without the ball in his hands and , his stats won’t matter to anyone involved with real football, anyway.

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