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Cowboys news: Why Ezekiel Elliott will “absolutely” reclaim NFL rushing title in 2018

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Why Ezekiel Elliott will reclaim the NFL's rushing title in 2018 - Jean-Jacques Taylor, SportsDay
JJT answers questions about the Cowboys and predicts that Ezekiel Elliott will be king of the castle once again in the NFL.

Question: Will Ezekiel Elliott reclaim the league’s rushing title this year?

Taylor: Absolutely. Let me tell you the most amazing thing about Ezekiel Elliott: He’s played 25 games and had less than 80 yards in two of them. That’s unbelievable in today’s NFL. He’s had 100 yards or more in 12 of 25 games and he’s had four others with at least 96 yards.

Now, they’ve added Connor Williams who should be better at left guard than Jonathan Cooper. He’s going to get the carries and they’re going to ride him.

Why Connor Williams, Ezekiel Elliott are a ‘match made in heaven’ - Jori Epstein, SportsDay
As mentioned above, one reason Elliott should reclaim his rushing title is the addition of Connor Williams. His college coach, Tom Herman, shared some thoughts on his former lineman.

Question: Tell us one of your favorite Connor stories from his Longhorns stint. Why is it your favorite?

Herman: His dominance in the West Virginia game was a sight to be seen. There certainly are some amazing memories from that day. We needed that win to get to bowl eligibility, and he came back from injury and performed like a captain should in leading us to that win. The celebration in the locker room, all of the hugs and the smile on his face, those are great memories from an awesome day in Morgantown.

Way-too-early Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster projection - Jon Machota, SportsDay
With the draft over, the mock business now transitions to making up 53-man rosters. Machota takes a first stab at who will make the cut for the Cowboys. He has pretty conventional ideas about the wide receiver position.

Austin's ability to play receiver technically gives the Cowboys six at the position. The first four below are locked in at the moment. The final spot will likely come down to Noah Brown, Deonte Thompson, Cedrick Wilson and Lance Lenoir. Dallas could always keep two from that group and go thin at another position.

- Allen Hurns

- Cole Beasley

- Terrance Williams

- Michael Gallup

- Noah Brown

Did Cowboys find another gem in tight end Dalton Schultz? – Kevin Turner, The Athletic
Turner takes a deep look at the Cowboys' shiny new tight end, complete with a wide array of gifs. He likes what he sees.

For what the Cowboys are trying to do on offense, Dalton Schultz is the perfect fit. I realize the pick was not sexy, but aside from Dak, very few late fourth-round picks are.

Schultz will compete for the starting job immediately and his primary role will be to block. I know we live in a world where people want immediate answers, but that’s just not realistic right now. While Jason Witten’s retirement wasn’t ideal for this offense, it could have some benefits too. Will we see more 4-WR sets with the TE off the field? I know I’d support that. This offense will be faster with Witten gone (and Dez wasn’t exactly a burner, either).

The Cowboys like Blake Jarwin, but he’s primarily a blocking tight end. They also like Geoff Swaim but he’s also a blocker first. They have Rico Gathers just in case he can turn his size and athleticism into something.

Adding Dalton Schultz at the end of the fourth round was just another fantastic pick in the 2018 draft for the Dallas Cowboys.

Ryan Switzer examines abrupt divorce from Cowboys - Patrik Walker, 247Sports.com
Former Cowboys' receiver Ryan Switzer took time to speak with Walker and share his feelings about moving on from Dallas.

PW: Did it feel like a gut punch when you got the news from from Jason [Garrett] and Jerry Jones?

Switzer: Oh, no question it did. You know just because of the preparation that I had been putting in up to this point to be as successful as I could with Dallas. And you know I'm a young kid [so] I've never been traded before, obviously, [and] never had anything like this happen. It was just all new to me, you know, but at the end of the day you know I realized the work that I put in isn't [going] to waste. It's just going to be for another team now. I know the work that I've put in will, regardless of me being traded or not, make me a better player. It is what it is now. I understand that the NFL is a business. It's the career that I've chosen and I've got to take everything that comes with it, good and bad.

No Witten, Prescott, Elliott lead new era - Clarence E. Hill Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Hill looks at the major transition taking place among the leadership group within the Cowboys' locker room.

But this is the dawning of a new day with quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott firmly entrenched as the young kings of the franchise and new leaders on the block.

Add in the league’s best offensive line, including Pro Bowlers Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin, along with the addition of second-round pick Connor Williams, and vice president Stephen Jones doesn’t look at the Cowboys as a team in transition but rather one that is simply resetting its chess pieces with the same goals in place.

“Jason, Dez and Tony — they have been synonymous with the Cowboys' last 10 years,” Stephen Jones said. “But at the same time, we have young players who are coming with Zeke, Dak and the offensive line. And lot of young guys to point to now. I don’t look at it as a transition as much I do as just resetting.”

JJT also spoke about Dak in the article referenced at the top.

Question: If the Cowboys are making the offense more Dak friendly, does that mean this is his prove-it or lose-it year as far as getting that next contract?

Taylor: I wouldn't say this is a prove-it year for Dak Prescott because it's not like the Cowboys surrounded him with a bunch of proven weapons. They have a lot more unknown than known when it comes to their receiving corps but I see what they're trying to do.

Here's the deal, if the Cowboys have a year that doesn't include a playoff win or two, then I'm not going to be surprised if Jason Garrett gets popped. If Garrett gets popped and a new coach gets hired and he doesn't have a tie to Dak then all things are possible.

Here’s what Matt Ryan’s $150M deal could mean for Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott - Terez Paylor, Yahoo Sports

Now that Matt Ryan has set the new standard for QB money, what could that mean for Dak down the road?

Meanwhile Prescott, like [Russell] Wilson, has only two years left on his contract, meaning the Cowboys could extend him next spring, just like the Seahawks did for Wilson in 2015 after his third pro season. If the Cowboys don’t believe in Prescott yet, and they refuse to pay him Ryan money next spring, they could franchise him in 2020 and 2021, only to be forced to watch him hit free agency in March 2022 at 29 years old.

“It might be Kirk Cousins all over again,” Halsell said.

Four NFL teams that will disappoint fan bases in 2018, including the Dallas Cowboys - Jason La Canfora, CBSSports.com
La Canfora is not optimistic about the Cowboy's upcoming season.

Man, they end up spending a lot of time talking about just-retired or just-kicked-out-the-door former players, don't they? Seems to be the motif of another offseason. Tony Romo a year ago. Jason Witten and Dez Bryant now. And of course they had their share of run-ins with the law, with David Irving the latest Cowboy to be dealing with potentially seriously off-field issues (last year it was Zeke Elliott). Seems like the plan is to go Back to the Future to like 1986 and run the ball 600 times. Good luck with that. Dak Prescott, I doubt, takes a big step forward with this supporting cast, and even with adding a linebacker in the first round I have some serious concerns about the viability of the Dallas defense. The division should be better this season, but the Cowboys will not be. And if it does go as expected, will Jerry Jones cling to a coach he can micro-manage? Could more change be in the air for the Cowboys?