Last nights game was the perfect return of the NFL. It had everything. Great touchdowns, turnovers, big plays, mistakes, back and forward scoring, and freshly paid Dak Prescott looked magnificent. But at what cost? We’ve all been lured into selecting Zeke as a first round top 7 running back, and I was mocked for stating you should be picking Nick Chubb over him, Kareem Hunt factor or not. The question is, had we fallen into a false narrative that Zeke was going to return to 2018/2019 form?
Before I say anything more, it’s important to note that the Cowboys were without all pro guard Zack Martin, who missed the game because of the COVID protocol.. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, Zeke was not good last night. He didn’t look, dangerous? Nor did the Cowboys use him in any dangerous manner whatsoever. The Bucs front is one of the leagues best, yes I do totally agree with that, however, this is an air raid offence, with a very expensive show pony in the backfield, who they, don’t need?
In 2020, Zeke averaged just over 16 carries a game. In 2019, that was almost 19. The year before THAT is was 20.5 carries a game. Last night, he had 11 carries for 33 yards. Then the shovel play where he ended up one on one with back up safety Andrew Adams and just couldn’t get himself in the end zone. The Zeke I’m used to would have run straight over that guy, or hurdled him, or snuck outside him, or something? Anything? That one play did give me a little half slice of worry about him.
HOWEVER, this is a game plan. The Cowboys knew if they were going to beat the Bucs last night they would have to attack the weakest point of their defence, the secondary, and trust their elite group of receivers and Dak Prescott to get it done, which they did. Dak was outstanding, with 403 yards and 3 TDs against a Todd Bowles defence. Let’s liken this game to the Washington game last season. Washington, much like the Bucs, has an extremely good defensive line, and keys well on the run. In 2020, Zeke had 10 carries for 32 yards that game. Sound familiar? The Cowboys are just utilising the pass because it gives them the best chance to win the game. I don’t believe there’s any cause for concern on Zeke just yet. In fact, Matt called this exact scenario, and recommended yesterday that you go and offer a mid tier trade for Zeke, as owners will be panicking after last night…
But I will say this. If you have Dak Prescott throwing the ball 58 times a game, and a very capable Tony Pollard as one of the best number 2 backs in the league, that $15M annual salary Zeke is getting paid, could probably be better utilised elsewhere. It would secure you an elite safety, or two good corners, for example. Another pass rusher to accompany Demarcus Lawrence. This Cowboys offence can score points with the best of them, they were 2 points shy (with a missed field goal), of taking down the Super Bowl champions. While Zeke is a magnificent blocker, and he did that very well last night, I just wonder if the Cowboys regret the humungous payday…
Thoughts? Let me know @AlexUndrafted
Should We Panic Yet Zeke? Should We Panic Yet Zeke? Should We Panic Yet Zeke? Should We Panic Yet Zeke? Should We Panic Yet Zeke?