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Cowboys News & Notes: Seeing The Light On Zeke And Debating Backup Quarterbacks

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Plus Jason Witten feels honored, and a real blast from the past.

The debate continues about the backup QB situation.
The debate continues about the backup QB situation.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting Report: Ezekiel Elliott – Footbology

Marcus Mosher was not a fan of the selection of Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys. (He remains a big Derrick Henry fan.) But in his look back at Elliott after the draft, he may have hit on what the Cowboys saw in Elliott.

Here is the best way I can sum up Elliott's game; he's more than the sum of his parts. Athletically, he's not a great athlete, although he does have a good combination of size and speed. He's not a SPARQ guy, as he only finished in the 45th perentile among NFL RBs. But in the scouting report below, you'll get a sense of how I came to this conclusion. When you add up all of the following parts of his game, plus his ability to run power/zone-read schemes, he's just a much better player than if you were to just isolate all of his traits separately. Very few runners do multiple things well, whereas Elliott can do all of them very well. And that's why Dallas choose him inside the top five.

Dallas Cowboys: SI writer: It's 'mind-boggling' that Cowboys think they're set at the QB position behind Tony Romo | SportsDay

A lot of people are a bit puzzled by the commitment of the Cowboys' staff to Kellen Moore as the backup to Tony Romo. Greg Bedard of Sports Illustrated put it this way.

But it's mind-boggling to me that the Cowboys are portraying the image that they think they're set at the quarterback position behind Romo. The quarterback, who turned 36 last month, isn't the most durable starter out there--he's recently undergone two back operations and broke his left collarbone twice last season (he had surgery on it in March).

Point: Why The Cowboys Should Feel Content With Current Backup Quarterbacks | Dallas Cowboys

Bryan Broaddus offers up his arguments on why Dallas is in better shape than many feel.

I am not saying that they don't need a talented backup quarterback because we all saw what happened last season when that was the case. I just feel this current group is better. It is clear that Moore is a favorite among the coaching staff but now it appears that he has won some of the scouts as well.

Counterpoint: Why It’s Too Early To Say Backup Quarterback Roles Should Be Set | Dallas Cowboys

On the other side of things, Rob Phillips is doubtful the problem has been solved - yet.

My counterpoint isn't that the Cowboys are too complacent at backup quarterback, because I don't anything is carved in stone just yet. It's mid-May, y'all.

Like with any position on the roster, I think they'll keep their eyes open in free agency for veteran competition -€” maybe all the way through training camp depending on how Moore fares.

Former Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger has almost no chance - NFL Nation- ESPN

Because there is immediate interest among Cowboys fans whenever another team releases any player whose name is recognizable, the release of Zach Mettenberger drew the inevitable questions about whether Dallas would claim him on waivers. Word is there is zero desire to do so, and this article lays out some reasons why that is a good thing.

You might have read that Mettenberger has a strong arm and stands big in the pocket. You can see that he's completed 60.3 percent of his passes and thrown 12 touchdowns against 14 interceptions in 14 appearances including 10 starts, not unreasonable numbers for a young quarterback on a bad team. You might also be willing to give him a pass for the Titans' 0-10 record in those starts, noting that wins and losses can't necessarily be pinned to a quarterback the way they are to a pitcher in baseball.

Sometimes conventional statistics can be deceiving. Mettenberger's career Total Quarterback Rating is 16.5 (on a scale of 0-100). He's been sacked 31 times and fumbled eight times in his 14 games, a big reason why he has produced the worst QBR of any quarterback with at least 10 starts since the inception of the statistic in 2006. It also ranks No. 64 among the 68 quarterbacks who have started at least one game sine he was drafted in 2014.

Dallas Cowboys roster breakdown: Lots of questions on defense - Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN

This offers a quick rundown of the entire defensive roster, but the overall take on things is a pretty good summation.

There are questions at every level from the pass rush to the secondary to the health of key players. The defense kept the Cowboys in games last year but broke too many times late in games. With a better offensive output, their margin of error won't be as slim but they still need to be better.

DeMarco Murray's words mean something to Jason Witten - Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN

As has been previously reported, DeMarco Murray reached out to Ezekiel Elliott after the draft and told him the most beneficial thing he could do was to learn as much as possible from Jason Witten. Witten is appreciative of Murray's comments.

"People talk about how precious the relationships of teammates are and the brotherhood and bond," Witten said. "I appreciate DeMarco's kind words not because he said it but the relationship we have. We had a short few years together and we maximized it. A lot of great shared sacrifices together. Ultimately he was able to have an offensive MVP year and I was just a small part of it. But for him to think I could influence it, I think that's why you invest the way you do. That's what teammates do."

Heartbreakers: Top-5 infuriating Cowboys moment of all-time | Cowboys Wire

This will be a fun read for the hardcore masochists out there. For the rest of you, it will bring mostly winces, especially if you saw the moments in question. One on the list comes from 2000, and features a player, Terrell Owens, who would one day wear the Star himself - something many of us still have very mixed feelings about.

In Week 4, Owens caught a touchdown pass with just under three minutes remaining in the first half to give San Francisco a 17-3 lead. He then raced to midfield, stood on the Cowboys sacred star and looked up towards the hole in the roof there so God could watch his favorite team. On the subsquent drive, Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith scored, and raced to midfield to "plant the flag", emphatically slamming the football down mid-star.

Owens would score once again in the fourth and attempt to return to the star, but was steamrolled by Cowboys safety George Teague. It earned Teague a lifetime of adoration by Cowboys Nation, but in reality, Owens broke out a sharpie on Cowboys fans' brains.

Bigger Hero: George Teague or Rougned Odor? | Cowboys Nation

In case you somehow managed to miss it, there was a little scrap during the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers yesterday - and the now widely seen, very nicely thrown overhand right from Rougned Odor to Jose Bautista's jaw has drawn comparisons to Teague's blast of Owens. And it has drawn a very similar reaction.

So as the Bautista/Odor situation happened yesterday, all that came to my mind was George Teague. Neither player should ever have to buy a drink in the Dallas area for the rest of their lives.

Follow me @TomRyleBTB