Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott suspension reinstated

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Ezekiel Elliott
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Ezekiel Elliott /

The Dallas Cowboys will look to find a way to get Ezekiel Elliott back on the field after his suspension was reinstated. This can mean many things.

The Dallas Cowboys got some sobering news on their bye week as running back Ezekiel Elliott’s preliminary injunction of his suspension has been lifted by the Fifth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals. This happened a lot faster than the Cowboys hoped it would as now they are faced with the looming prospect of getting their offense going without number 21.

The Cowboys are scrambling to put forth a game plan for Elliott as his legal team and the NFLPA work together to come up with a solution. The most likely thing Elliott’s representatives and the NFLPA will do is re-file another temporary restraining order/preliminary injunction.

This would give Elliott some more time to stay on the field and if granted, he would likely see the field for the rest of the season. If the second injunction is not granted then Elliott’s suspension would continue he would begin to miss games.

The argument for Elliott to play seems stronger than the argument to listen to NFL’s faulty conclusions and penalties for an incident that occurred completely out of their domain.

If Elliott misses games, he cannot get those back, and neither can the Dallas Cowboys so his absence may mean more than what is given at face value. The NFL is not risking their brand by having Elliott on the field, they are not putting themselves in any danger however much like with Tom Brady and Deflategate they seem determined to get Elliott suspended at some point.

The hypocrisy in the NFL is beyond reproach but even worse is their reactionary stance in regards to punishments for their players. Nothing about this suspension ever made sense, but the NFL may not need it too.

They are a private institution, so governmental interference is typically limited especially in regards to disciplining employees. Elliott may have an outside chance of getting another injunction but the team may need to prepare for life without their star running back.

That would mean focusing our attention on the backups, Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris, and Rod Smith. What we have seen from Morris in the offseason and even at times during the regular season has been exciting.

He seems like a back who is hungry and ready to put up some production, but we have not even seen the other two. McFadden is incredibly rested after being inactive for the first five games of the season and Smith has barely seen any carries.

So is the sky necessarily falling in Dallas? No, not at all, and it is because of several reasons. Number one: Dak Prescott has gone toe to toe with Aaron Rodgers several times, and each time he has looked like an elite player.

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Much like with his rookie year, Dak is finally hitting his mid-season stride and should be very productive over the next couple of games. Number two: This team has weapons aside from Elliott.

It will hurt to not have a true three-down back on the roster, but Elliott’s play has not exactly stood out this season. He has had some memorable moments this season but this team’s concerns should really be pointed at the defensive side of the ball.

The Cowboys have put up over 25 plus points over the last three weeks. So out of 85 plus points scored by the offense, Zeke has only put up two touchdowns over the last three weeks.

I am not by any means saying he is not important as he has averaged 80 plus yards over that timeframe as well, but he has not been how the Cowboys have been scoring touchdowns.

Finally, the third reason Cowboys fans should not worry is that there is adequate depth at the position. Think about it, the Cowboys could have made a move to get Adrian Peterson all summer and within the last few weeks, but they did not feel compelled too.

That was not because Elliott was playing, that was because they have enough depth at the position to get them over the hump. Morris (in his limited sample size, 8 carries) is averaging 10.9 yards per attempt and 4.4 per attempt for his entire career, now those are great numbers.

He clearly showed the Dallas Cowboys enough during the preseason that they fault extremely comfortable having him back up Elliott. We also have a complete unknown in McFadden.

He has not been the change of pace back but is figured to carve out a much bigger role for himself over the coming weeks. He has also accumulated over 1,000 rushing yards for Dallas in the past so he has proven to be a capable back as well.

I would expect the team to work on their new game plan and that could have Morris and McFadden splitting carries while Ryan Switzer comes in on some joker, designed run type of plays.

The Cowboys will face the San Francisco 49ers (at San Francisco), Washington Redskins (at Washington), Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons (at Atlanta), Philadelphia Eagles, and finally the Los Angeles Chargers.

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If the Cowboys can just win a couple of games during that stretch they should be in good shape for the final quarter of the season. This is also assuming that Zeke is not given another injunction, it is not 100 percent that he will miss the Dallas Cowboys Week Seven contest so only time will tell what actions the team must take.