Despite being the leading rusher on the NFL’s No. 1 offense last season, Ezekiel Elliott did not have the best 2021 season. One former NFL general manager believes that it’s unlikely he’ll be able to return to the player he once was.
On Wednesday’s edition of ESPN’s Get Up, former Jets and Dolphins general manager Mike Tannenbaum was not a fan of the notion that Zeke should be the focal point of their offense in 2022. He pointed to his decline in rushing yards per game and said that the Cowboys are “average at best” with him in that role.
“Zeke Elliott was yesterday’s news…” Tannenbaum said. “If they are running their offense through him, they are average at best.”
Back in July, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones stressed the importance of running back Ezekiel Elliott to the team’s success in 2022. Jones said that Elliott has to be the “focus” of the Cowboys’ running game this season.
Although Elliott rushed for 1,002 yards and 10 touchdowns in 17 games, his 4.2 yards-per-carry average was the third-lowest of his career and his 287 receiving yards were the second-fewest of his career.
He also averaged a career-low 58.9 rushing yards per game.
His struggles on the field are especially problematic since the Cowboys invested heavily in Elliott prior to the 2019 season, signing him to a six-year, $90 million contract extension.
Meanwhile, Tony Pollard has emerged as an electric offensive weapon after rushing for 719 yards and two touchdowns, while averaging 5.5 yards.