Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott was a star when he entered the NFL in 2016. However, Elliott’s play has been criticized over the last couple of years. According to Sports Television Personality, Skip Bayless Ezekiel Elliott was a shadow of his rookie year in 2022. Bayless shared his opinion on his YouTube show.
Bayless is an avid Cowboys fan. Bayless said, “Zeke hit the wall he was trying to run through.” Bayless believes Elliott’s NFL career is in jeopardy.
As mentioned earlier Elliott was a star during his rookie year. Elliott rushed for 1,631 yards and scored 15 rushing touchdowns in 2016. Both ranked in the top of the NFL. Elliott used his talent to evade defenders and averaged 5.1 yards per carry.
Bayless’s comments are significant because Elliott is currently a free agent. Elliott was released on March 15 and hasn’t signed with another team.
In 2019, Elliott signed a six-year contract worth $90 million. Elliott received $50 million guaranteed. Elliott is scheduled to make $10.9 million in 2023.
Since 2016 Elliott has rushed for 8,262 yards and has scored 68 rushing touchdowns. Elliott has recorded 2,336 receiving yards and scored 12 receiving touchdowns. The numbers show Elliott’s versatility as a runner and receiver. Elliott rushed for 876 yards and scored 12 rushing touchdowns in 2022.
Elliott’s yards per attempt have consistently dropped since 2016. Elliott averaged 3.8 yards per carry in 2022, the lowest of his career.
I don’t believe Elliott was a shadow of himself in 2022. Elliott shared carries with Toney Pollard which limited his rushing attempts. Teams use running back by committee systems to keep running backs healthy. Elliott benefited from Pollard’s production.
Running backs suffer wear and tear over time. Elliott has spent eight seasons in the NFL. At a certain point running backs will show regression. However, this doesn’t mean running backs can’t produce. What it means is they must alter their game. It also means they must share carries to contribute to the team.
Despite Elliott’s production, Dallas’ running game was terrific last season. According to Statmuse the Cowboys rushed for 2,298 yards and scored 24 touchdowns. The Cowboy’s rushing attack ranked eighth in the NFL.
Elliott is 27 years old and will continue to play. Running backs always get injured so Elliott will land with a team that needs a running back.