Dallas Cowboys: Analyzing the ground game without Ezekiel Elliott

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Running back Alfred Morris
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Running back Alfred Morris /

The Dallas Cowboys will be looking to see which running back will be the starter after the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott. Here is a look at the candidates.

The Dallas Cowboys are heading into uncharted territory as they will most likely play their first game without star running back, Ezekiel Elliott. While there is a ton of depth at the position no one seems to know who the starting back will be. Let’s take a look at the options behind Elliott for the next six games.

Alfred Morris: The former Washington Redskins seems to be in the driver’s seat as the early-down back in what should be a three-back rotation. Morris has been the most exciting back to watch other than Ezekiel Elliott and has seemingly earned his way into getting the most reps with Elliott out.

Morris has shown that he still has some juice left in the tank and could be a capable starter in this league. He may not have the same skill set as Elliott but has the ability to break big plays all the same.

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Rod Smith: Smith has shown flashes of brilliance throughout the course of the season but particularly dominated during the preseason. He is the second favorite to come away with the starting job/the most carries. He is young and like his brother (Jaylon Smith) has a knack for making plays.

Smith is somewhat of an unknown as well as he has barely had a chance to take meaningful snaps in a regular season game. Smith could very well be a sleeper in this Cowboys offense and could help add some balance to this running back committee.

Darren McFadden: Ahh the wildcard out of the bunch. McFadden is likely Jerry Jones’s favorite back to replace Elliott as the organization was alright going with him prior to the Dallas Cowboys drafting Elliott.

He is a veteran power back who can catch the football in the backfield. When he gets going he is tough to stop but he has not played in a game all season long. He has been held inactive supposedly, to keep him fresh for the potential Zeke suspension.

McFadden did have over 1,000 yards with Dallas just two seasons ago. In 2015, McFadden showed that he was a still dependable back and if he could do half of what he did in 2015 during these six games without Elliott, this running back unit is in good shape.

Next: Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott suspension begins (again)

Cole Beasley/Ryan Switzer: Gadget plays are apart of every offense, however, Switzer brings a bit of a different skill set to the Cowboys offense. He was an incredible returner in college and has shown the speed/quickness to be a key playmaker for the Dallas Cowboys as soon as he is fully integrated into the offense.

Beasley is dealing with a concussion right now but he too will be expected to do a bit extra now that Elliott is out. He will likely miss Week Nine but will be a big part of the Dallas Cowboys plans moving forward. Beasley has been especially useful in short yardage situations so I would not be surprised to see him and Switzer be utilized in a similar fashion over the course of the next six weeks.