Dallas Cowboys: Will The Cowboys Draft Ezekiel Elliott?

Jan 1, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the 2016 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the 2016 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

With so many needs to address on defense, will the Dallas Cowboys ignore that side of the ball and draft Ezekiel Elliott

We all know that the Cowboys are thin at the defensive end position, especially with pass rushers Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence serving four-game suspensions to begin the season. Therefore, the logical choice is to select Ohio State Buckeyes versatile defensive end Joey Bosa.

However, that might not happen.

According to different media outlets and mock drafts, the Cowboys are serious about drafting Ohio State Buckeyes powerful running back Ezekiel Elliott with its number four pick.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones views Elliot as another version of Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, joining quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant as the new triplets, a honorable distinction carried by Smith, Troy Aikman, and Michael Irving of the 1990’s championship dynasty.

Drafting Elliott makes sense because the All American runner can run behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Plus, utilizing a runner like Elliott takes pressure off of Romo, who broke his clavicle twice last season. The less Romo has to drop back and pass the better, which is what Elliott will bring to the running game.

Not to mention, Elliott can share the load with veteran running backs like Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris, and Lance Dunbar. The talented Elliott will not only be another runner on the Cowboys roster, but Elliott will be Dallas’ future work horse.

More from Dallas Cowboys

Elliott is that talented.

Another reason the Cowboys will draft Elliott is because he’s one hell of a playmaker. The former Buckeyes’ player is the type of back that can take a five yard gain and produce an 80-yard touchdown run, something he did against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the first ever college football playoff game.

Quite frankly, Elliott ran all over the Crimson Tide that night, who were the number one team in the country at the time.

That dominant performance propelled the Buckeyes into the National Championship game where Elliott continued to run wild as he led the Buckeyes over the Oregon Ducks for the National title. His performance on the national stage set the tone for Elliott being a top-10 selection in Thursday night’s draft.

Further, Elliott possess a quick first step to the hole, has great vision, and has good football IQ. What impresses me about Elliott is how he constantly picked up blitzes of opposing defenses.

On tape, Elliott can be seen picking up blitzing linebackers and giving his quarterback time to make a play downfield. This may seem minute to the casual football fan, but having the ability to know how and when to pick up blitzes is a major bonus for a running back, definitely at the professional level where quarterbacks are precious commodities.

When a running back can pick up the blitz on the regular, he becomes another layer of protection for his quarterback, more like the last line of defense. Needless to say, Romo needs all the protection he can get for his brittle shoulder.

With Elliott, the Cowboys get a potential day one starter or at least a running back that can contribute right away when on the field. Elliott, McFadden, and Morris is a dominant group of runners, with Dunbar as third down specialist.

More importantly, Elliott gives the Cowboys offense options at the running back position. Instead of feeding McFadden or Morris the ball constantly, the workload and punishment can be distributed equally to opposing defenses. Come fourth quarter, no defense wants to face that ferocious trio of runners on a 13-play, game-winning drive.

Also, Elliott allows the Cowboys to use play action pass because of the threat of the running game. Once the safety creeps down in the box, Bryant will be in man coverage and more than likely dominate, the same with Jason Witten, Terrance Williams, and Cole Beasley.

Next: Cowboys: The Needs and the Wants

I’m not saying Elliott will be the next Emmitt Smith or DeMarco Murray, but the explosive runner will excel because he’s that talented and good, someone who can contribute right away.

That’s one of the reasons the Dallas Cowboys will draft Ezekiel Elliott.