Ezekiel Elliott harm: Cowboys’ mismanagement of All-Professional’s knee ailment is unsettling, harmful


There is a somewhat sizable drum the Dallas Cowboys have been pounding all season, and that is the very fact they’re enjoying the “lengthy recreation” with regards to how they handle participant accidents. That is led to taking a deliberate and even handed method within the return of gamers like two-time Professional Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott and All-Professional starters Tyron Smith and DeMarcus Lawrence, amongst others (e.g., Neville Gallimore, Michael Gallup), however it seems Ezekiel Elliott stands behind a unique percussion instrument — a trombone.

That mentioned, it is time somebody sound the trumpets on their uneven method right here. It is clear to anybody with working retinas that Elliott — who has confirmed to be not solely tremendous sturdy, but additionally to have a really excessive threshold for ache — is coping with a knee situation that goes past a pre-game injection. Is it one thing that is probably season-ending? No, however it’s being aggravated tremendously by each a refusal to relaxation him for a minimum of a recreation and an offensive gameplan that continues to lean on him as if nothing is bodily fallacious.

Within the Week 13 win over the Saints on Thursday evening, Elliott was usually seen limping after performs and grimacing as he ran out of bounds on a minimum of one handoff. He’d end with 13 carries (six greater than a really wholesome Tony Pollard) for simply 45 yards, and continues battling by way of the bottom stretch of manufacturing in his profession. 

Previous to injuring his knee, his explosiveness was on full show with outings of 95, 143 and 110 yards dashing in Week 3 by way of Week 5, respectively, however his dangerous wheel has robbed him of that quickness and velocity. Nonetheless, it is gone principally ignored by the Cowboys with regards to recreation prep, with proprietor Jerry Jones pivoting away from any hypothesis of probably resting Elliott towards the Saints and as a substitute stating the two-time dashing champ would see have a “severe load” at Caesars Superdome.

No, that is not confounding in any respect (insert sarcasm right here). 

To his infinite credit score, Elliott is accrediting his struggles to every thing however his harm — within the continued spirit of competitiveness of a participant who cannot fathom the way it’s OK to make an excuse for lack of manufacturing, even when there is a distinction between a cause and an excuse, as is the case in his scenario. 

“The Saints have a very good entrance,” Elliott mentioned following the win in New Orleans. “They do a variety of motion. They’ve a variety of good guys up entrance. So it was a bit of powerful. 

“… We made the performs we wanted to make, and all we are able to do is rejoice this win and switch round and work out how we are able to get higher.”

It’s true the Cowboys offensive line struggled mightily towards their Saints defensive counterparts, one thing that spilled over to Pollard as effectively for a lot of the sport. It wasn’t till Pollard burst by way of for a 58-yard landing late within the third quarter that the Cowboys dashing assault gained any traction and, for perspective, it took that house run to offer Pollard 71 yards on seven carries, which means he had solely 13 dashing yards on his different six handoffs (2.17 yards per carry).

It was positively a principally forgettable night for the Cowboys working backs, however except they wish to probably harm their lengthy recreation in 2021, it is time to reduce Elliott or relaxation him outright. The mini-bye will assist, however how a lot or how little is to-be-determined, and it would not change the truth that claims Elliott should not have been on the sphere in New Orleans.

Three issues are true right here: 

1. Elliott would not wish to miss video games.

2. The workforce should not let him make that call, any greater than they let Prescott following his calf pressure.

3. Elliott is trying ahead to the additional days of relaxation.

“It will be good to get a break,” he admitted on Thursday. 

I guess it is going to.

That break ought to’ve arrived prior to now, and whether or not he permitted or not, as a result of if the Cowboys are to make any form of potential run within the playoffs, they’re going to want Elliott wholesome for the utmost good thing about a at present struggling offense that can also be fueled by his tandem with Pollard. As they flip the web page to their first 2021 battle with the Washington Soccer Crew, the Cowboys could have a greater concept one week any more the standing of Elliott, or if they need to [finally] comply with lean closely on Pollard with a mixture of backup working again Corey Clement, contemplating each Sewo Olonilua and Rico Dowdle are on season-ending injured reserve. 

Nevertheless, to listen to Jones nonetheless enjoying the fallacious instrument concerning his star working again lower than 24 hours after seeing him attempt to muscle by way of an harm that is not permitting him to — noting to 105.3FM the Fan on Monday that Elliott is prepared — would not evoke a ton of confidence within the workforce’s potential to make the appropriate resolution there, as he did with lots of the aforementioned gamers.

“I am sound with the place I’m,” mentioned Jones. “His trainers, the individuals which are the closest to his well being, his medical scenario, they assume he is actually good to go. And, so, I do not see after a 10-day relaxation right here.”

Jones desires Elliott to push by way of as a result of, not like the others, he believes pushing the difficulty is the appropriate drugs for Elliott. In different phrases, when you’re bleeding from a knife wound however can maintain strolling with out making it worse, that is higher than taking a second to get the opening stitched up.

“You understand, a variety of instances, if you may get by way of video games, when you can push on, then that is higher for you than sitting it out,” he mentioned, including to the general bewilderment of the scenario. “You really, you probably have a difficulty, it improves when you’re in a position to get out and never injure it extra. He actually did not injure something extra final evening. So, I actually sit up for a strong and dynamic Zeke as we transfer on into this final a part of the season.”

Ultimately, this can both all be water beneath the bridge as just lately as Dec. 12, or we’ll be discussing how that bridge is perhaps going additional underwater — with no logical rationalization as to why it is being allowed to.



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