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How will the Cowboys try to replace Ezekiel Elliott for six games?

The Cowboys are facing an uphill battle in replacing their star running back.

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys could be facing their next six games without their star running back, Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott and the NFLPA lost the latest round of court battles with the NFL, and unless they can win an emergency stay of the latest ruling, Zeke will likely miss this week, and possibly the next six. While the court stuff is dealt with by the lawyers and the NFLPA, the Cowboys must start seriously thinking about how they will go about replacing Zeke.

That’s easier said than done. Zeke is one of those rare backs who excels in just about everything. He can get the tough yards, but he can also hit the open field. He can catch the ball, he can pass protect. He’s a workhorse and a chain-mover, he can bludgeon you or take it to the house. In short, he’s a complete back with elite skills. Somehow, the Cowboys need to make up for that.

The Steady Vet

The most obvious route would be to rely on Alfred Morris. He’s been backing Zeke up all year and has seen a limited amount of carries so far. He has 13 carries for 105 yards, with most of that coming on one 70-yard burst. Morris had some quality years with Washington and is known as a back that gets better with more carries. He’s not the home run hitter Zeke is, and he doesn’t seem to be as powerful a runner either. But he does have good vision and when given creases can make the most of them. Morris would have struggled earlier this year when the Cowboys line was faltering, but now that they are getting in sync and creating lanes, he might fare better. One drawback is he’s not a huge threat out of the backfield.

The Young Gun

The other back on the active roster so far this year has been Rod Smith. He caught the eye of Cowboys fans in preseason when he was running hard and putting up yards when given opportunities. He’s a big back but still shows pretty good wiggle with the ball in his hands. He’s even been a decent pass-catcher. So far he’s only had 10 carries for 69 yards, but could be in line for more carries should the suspension stand.

The Wild Card

Darren McFadden is still on the Cowboys roster. The team has made him inactive for every game this season, but that would change if the suspension holds. McFadden did a commendable job in 2015 for a bad Cowboys football team, enough to think he could be a spark if inserted into the lineup. McFadden does a lot of things well but nothing great. He can workhorse, he can block, he can catch, and occasionally can show some real burst. The Cowboys might have been saving him just for this spot, his legs will surely be fresh.

So BTB, who would you turn to as the primary source to try and replace Zeke’s production?


If Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension stands, the Cowboys should turn primarily to:

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Alfred Morris
    (1015 votes)
  • 22%
    Rod Smith
    (719 votes)
  • 45%
    Darren McFadden
    (1468 votes)
3202 votes total Vote Now

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