Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott is the most underappreciated superstar the NFL has to offer. Be careful about taking Zeke for granted. I dare you to trade him. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Running backs in the NFL have never been less valuable. The Rams got to a Super Bowl with CJ Anderson, not Todd Gurley. The Vikings never won anything with Adrian Peterson. James Conner outperformed Le’Veon Bell and is making a hell of a lot less. Even guys like Phillip Lindsay who are undrafted make an impact in the league. The value of talented running backs is a dying bread. Still, one guy stands above the rest. Ezekiel Elliott is the most underappreciated running back and superstar in the NFL today.

Today, Colin Cowherd, went on his show today and claims the Cowboys should trade Ezekiel Elliott. He couldn’t have been more wrong:

There are a lot of problems with this premise. The first is trying to argue that Dak Prescott is the future. He’s not and has never been. $35 million per year? WTF? I’d give him $10 million per year; take it or leave it. Prescott has never thrown for 24 touchdowns in a season. Dak isn’t the guy who makes this offense go. It’s Zeke.

During the 6 game stretch that Zeke was suspended, Dak was awful, by the way. Prescott threw 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He also threw for under 220 yards in 5 of the 6 games. Go ahead, trade Ezekiel Elliot, you clueless dope. Go ahead, make Prescott the highest paid quarterback in the league. The Cowboys will go from the mansion to the homeless.

No other running back powers his offense more than Elliott. He’s fooled people into thinking 4th round Dak Prescott is an elite quarterback. Prescott isn’t a top 15 quarterback in the league, yet Dallas has won the NFC East 2 of the past 3 years. That’s with dumb-dumb, Jason Garrett as the head coach in a sport where coaching means more than anything else. Ezekiel Elliott also bleeds the clock keeping his defense off the field more than a lot of other teams by himself. A defense that has ranked in the top 8 in each of Elliott’s season. You go ahead, trade Ezekiel Elliott. The second you do, the Dallas Cowboys are screwed as long as Dak Prescott is running the show.

Cowturd also tries to mention that Elliott’s production is in decline. Couldn’t be less true. Elliott’s YPC average has gone from 5.1 to 4.1 to 4.7. All of those numbers are healthy numbers. Especially for a back who is taking on the number of carries Elliott is. Elliott has 868 carries in 3 years but it’s because he has to. When Zeke gets the ball, Dallas wins. Zeke also set a career-high with 77 catches and 567 receiving yards in 2018. Hey, he’s in decline though, right? I should also mention that Elliott is also the best pass protecting running back in the league too. Under the premise that quarterbacks are the most valuable position, then players that protect them should also be very valuable too. No running back is better at pass protection than the former Ohio State product.

Ezekiel Elliott
No player epitomizes the star on the helmet for the Cowboys more than Ezekiel Elliott. Go ahead and trade this man. I dare you. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

When Elliott is productive, Dallas wins. When Dak is productive… nevermind. He’s rarely productive. In 2018, Elliott rushed for over 100 yards in 7 games. Dallas was 6-1 in those games. Elliott also received at least 19 carries in 8 games. Dallas went 7-1 in those games too. Overall, Dallas is 16-3 in games where Elliott records 100 rushing yards or more. When Elliott hits 19 carries in a game, the Cowboys are 22-6. Hey, you go ahead and trade him. I’ve seen what Dak Prescott is without Ezekiel Elliott. I just want to see what Elliott is with an elite quarterback.

But what about the offensive line! What about it? These are really the times I can’t get behind Pro Football Focus. These are the times that I call what they do a joke. PFF ranks Elliott as the 30th best running back in football. What a total clown show. If you have eyes, you know that is one of the most foolish things you heard all day. One stat easily disproves this. Since the 2016 season, Elliott leads the NFL in yards after contact with 2,567 yards. The guy who is second on that list? Todd Gurley. No running back in the NFL had more carries of 15 yards or more than Zeke. Clean it up PFF. It’s things like this where people don’t take you seriously.

Go ahead, Dallas, trade. Ezekiel Elliott. Go see what happens. Pay Dak Prescott $35 million per year. I promise you that universe is not a pretty one for Cowboy fans. Just imagine how good Elliott would be with less 8 man boxes, a capable coach, and an elite quarterback? Ezekiel Elliott is the one guy who epitomizes the Cowboys more than anybody else. He is a superstar. Unfortunately, he is the most underappreciated one the NFL has to offer. Ezekiel Elliott isn’t just the best running back in football, he’s actually the one guy who truly makes his entire offense go.