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Cowboys News & Notes: Elliott Makes Cowboys Offense More Dangerous Immediately

NFL Christmas is underway and Jason Garrett has opened his first present.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

2016 NFL Draft: The winners of the night are ... the Dallas Cowboys - Adam Schein,
Adam Schein breaks down all the action from Round 1, including how the Cowboys made the most of their uniquely advantageous position by selecting stud running back Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall.

Yes, the Cowboys won the NFL draft by selecting the running back fourth overall.

The Ohio State product is an instant-impact star who will provide immediate and needed balance for quarterback Tony Romo. Remember the 2014 season, when Dallas had a running back by the name of DeMarco Murray win the NFL Offensive Player of the Year award? That was also the most efficient year of Romo's career, with the QB notching personal highs in passer rating (113.2) and completion rate (69.9 percent).

Elliott is a three-down star; running behind the Cowboys' strong offensive line, he becomes my way-too-early pick for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Coming from the high-profile Buckeyes program, Elliott won't be blinded by the bright lights of playing for America's Team. And as a bonus, he'll help the Dallas defense by keeping that unit off the field.

Cowboys ditch team need by drafting Ezekiel Elliott to try to reclaim identity they lost with DeMarco Murray - David Moore, SportsDay
When a team doesn't draft for need, but drafts the best player available, that's a good thing, right?

Ezekiel Elliott doesn't address a position of need. He was taken with the fourth pick in Thursday's NFL draft for another reason.

The Cowboys want the Ohio State star to help the team reclaim the identity it lost when DeMarco Murray left in free agency.

Elliott is the top ranked player on the Cowboys board. As owner Jerry Jones said, that got his attention. He also made it clear that it wasn't him leading the charge to take Elliott, that he initially wondered if the club should take a running back that high.

But consensus built quickly. Head coach Jason Garrett called him a foundational player in those meetings and again to the media late Thursday evening after the first round was over.

Ezekiel Elliott transforms Cowboys' offense - Eric Prisbell, USA Today
Prisbell writes that the selection of Elliott should make the Cowboys’ offense more dangerous immediately.

The opportunity for the former Ohio State back to run behind one of the league’s best offensive lines should ease the burden on 36-year-old quarterback Tony Romo. Possessing a dynamic talent like Elliott should also stir memories of 2014, when now departed Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray led the NFL in rushing for a 12-win Dallas team.

With Elliott, the Cowboys are banking on their offense being their best defense - Dwain Price, Ft Worth Star Telegram

In 2014 the Dallas Cowboys relied on the offense to control the ball and slow down opposing offenses to help cover a weak defense. Is the front office looking to do the same thing in 2016? In passing on a defensive player during the first round of last night's draft it certainly appears that way. That squad went 12-4 and was a bad call away from playing for a shot at the Super Bowl.

In taking Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth pick in Thursday night’s NFL Draft, it looks like the Dallas Cowboys decided the best defense is their offense.

That’s the way it was two years ago when the Cowboys used DeMarco Murray’s talented legs and Tony Romo’s dead-eye arm to roll to a 12-4 record and the NFC East title. Now, with Romo expected to be relatively healthy next season after missing 12 games last year, the Cowboys decided they wanted to line him up to the next best thing this side of Murray.

Will they be able to recapture the magic formula?

Cowboys were contacted by Ravens about trading down, found out Baltimore also wanted Ezekiel Elliott - SportsDay
There was some early consternation about Dallas passing up the offer to trade down, but it turns out the Ravens had their eyes on Elliott as well.

Cowboys had talks with Baltimore about trading down ... but ultimately found out that Ravens were also wanting to draft Ezekiel Elliott.

VIDEO: Exclusive Interview With Ezekiel Elliott & Coach Brown -

The folks at the mothership speak with the newest Cowboy, Ezekiel Elliott, and his new position coach.

Deion Sanders: 'I love Ezekiel Elliott, but I don't know about that one Cowboys' - SprtsDayDFW Staff, Dallas Morning News

I don't often find myself agreeing with the former Cowboy, but in this case I am fully in tune with what 'Primetime' has to say.

"... this is my dilemma. The teams that have gone to the Super Bowl and fared well, they got there by defense. Now you have the opportunity to get a real corner and you pass that up?" - Deion Sanders

Cowboys select Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott in first round - Todd Archer, ESPN

Archer asks the multi-million dollar question:

In 1977, the Cowboys used the second overall pick to take Tony Dorsett. In 1991, the Cowboys used the 17th overall pick to take Emmitt Smith, who went on to rush for 18,355 yards. Expectations are big for quarterbacks (Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach), wide receivers (Michael Irvin, Drew Pearson, Bob Hayes) and running backs (Smith, Dorsett) when it comes to the Cowboys. Elliott will arrive with big-time expectations. Can he handle them the way Romo and Dez Bryant have?

The future of the franchise depends on it.

The next Emmitt Smith? What the Cowboys are getting in RB Ezekiel Elliott - Brandon George, Dallas Morning News

Elliott may be a difference-maker. But it's a five-year window with him. But hey, the Cowboys are working with a five-year window. Tony Romo's got a five-year window. So maybe you do bring Elliott in and make the big final push here with Romo and Witten this next five years and see what you can do. Because he obviously helps the offense in a lot of ways. Scouts rave about Elliott's vision to find holes and hit them quickly. He's a physical back who always seems to fall forward; a solid pass catcher but excellent run blocker.

At #4 overall, he better be.

Cowboys tried to move back into first round to draft quarterback Paxton Lynch - SportsDay
When quarterback Paxton Lynch fell to No. 26, the Cowboys reportedly tried to trade back up, offering Seattle their second and third rounders, but the Denver offer turned out to be more attractive.

Bob Sturm's top 50 prospects: Who's still available for Cowboys on Day 2 of draft? - SportsDay
Here are the top five guys remaining on Bob Sturm's top 50 draft prospects.

8. Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
9. Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
17. Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
19. Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
20. A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama

NFC East Outlook: What Elliott to the Cowboys means for Redskins - Rich Tandler, CSN Mid-Atlantic
Rich Tandler explains what the Elliott pick means for the NFC East and the Redskins.

Elliott certainly adds a dimension that the Cowboys don’t have with his ability to run up the middle, around the edges, and to catch passes out of the backfield.

The Redskins were 26th in rushing defense last year. They hope to improve that in the draft but for now an improved rushing game in Dallas is not good news for them. Running backs typically learn quickly so Elliott could well be quite productive by the time the Cowboys come to Washington in Week 2.

Philadelphia Eagles drafted the quarterback that the Dallas Cowboys wanted - Brandon Lee Gowton, Bleeding Green Nation

No other fan base defines itself as much by its opponent as the Eagles fan base. While our friends in green are busy congratulating themselves on Carson Wentz, and it apparently make them feel better to think they did what the Cowboys would have done. But somehow I suspect some men named Jones and Garrett are chuckling to themselves at the thought that Philly stole our QB. Most of us knew that Wentz was an unlikely prospect a long time ago.

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