Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott are the Cowboys two leaders on offense. The offense literally runs through them. As quarterback and running back, they drive the Cowboys forward, and make the Cowboys more than competitive – they make them extraordinary.
And they’re both rookies. One will win rookie of the year. That’s probably Elliott. Elliott is also, with Tom Brady losing a game (maybe more) out of 12, the MVP favorite. He’ll be one of very few non-quarterbacks to win that award in the last decade.
Dak Prescott, himself being a fantastic rookie, has put Tony Romo on the bench, perhaps permanently. He has made use of a Dallas offense even without Dez Bryant. He threw his first touchdown to Jason Witten last week. He’s been fully capable of scoring without either of the two, which is equally impressive when looking at the rest of the Cowboys offense – Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley.
Here are these two rookies stat lines:
Dak: 187 passes completed/280 attempts for a 66.8 completion percentage. Averaging 8.4 yards per attempt. 14 touchdowns to 2 interceptions. 106.2 Quarterback Rating. 4 rushing touchdowns to 3 fumbles lost.
Elliott: 198 attempts for 1005 yards. Averaging 5.1 yards per carry. 9 touchdowns. 18 receptions for 250 yards, an average of 13.9 yards and a touchdown. 1 fumble lost.
Those are truly impressive stat lines for veterans entering their prime. For rookies adjusting to the league? These two are remarkable.
And they play for “America’s Team”. They have the potential to be the brightest stars in the NFL for years to come. And they have the potential to do it together.
Ezekiel Elliott was drafted fourth overall, behind two quarterbacks (Jared Goff and Carson Wentz) and Joey Bosa. Both the Eagles and the Rams needed a quarterback more than a running back. The Chargers have Melvin Gordon. But the Cowboys hadn’t had a “proper” running back since DeMarco Murray left for Philadelphia.
Then rounds passed. Every team passed on Dak. Every team passed on Dak three to four (to rarely but sometimes five) times. He was taken 37th in the fourth round. A compensatory pick. When he was picked, the selection was given a 5.4 rating by ESPN. Considering his success, and the fact Dak has the possibility to be the biggest quarterback steal since Russell Wilson (and, being selected a full round later, perhaps is a larger steal), they may want to up that rating.ow, with the best offensive line in football, the Cowboys now have one of the youngest offenses.
Now, with the best offensive line in football, the Cowboys now have one of the youngest offenses. They have their quarterback and running back of the future. The Cowboys just got Aikman and Smith again. Dez Bryant could be their Michael Irvin. It looks like the Cowboys legendary teams of the nineties have reformed. And it’s only year one.
These two will only grow over time. They will be ceded more and more control of this team as they become more and more experienced. And Dak and Elliott will grow their chemistry. They will only understand each other better. They’re already growing together, and this has led to the Cowboys domination. But there’s room to grow. And that could spell death to every other team.
Dak Prescott has already made the injury-prone Tony Romo expendable. I’ve written an article on what Tony Romo should do next. And that means the Cowboys could get a return from an elite quarterback. That return could be given to the defense, and improve the Cowboys’ other side of the ball.
In this iteration of the NFL, there are no perfect teams. But given a few years, the Cowboys will come close.
There may be no reason for either of these two young stars to ever leave Dallas. Jerry Jones has always wanted a running back. He has his now. Romo has always been a favorite of his. He now has a quarterback who made that favorite benchable. They’re both under 23.
It’s ridiculous. But right now, the future of the NFL is the Dallas Cowboys. It’s time for the rest of the league to adjust.