The Dallas Cowboys have considerable work to do before they win the NFC East and secure a spot in the playoffs. Losing to the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving certainly served as a bump in the road, but running back Ezekiel Elliott is ready to get his team back on the winning track. In fact, a recent post on his Instagram page shows that he plans on helping out his teammates.
Monday afternoon, Zeke posted a photo of himself and linebacker Jaylon Smith while other members of the team looked on. The two young building blocks of this team were face-to-face and jumping in the air, seemingly hyping each other up. In the caption, Zeke simply wrote: "I Am My Brother’s Keeper."
Elliott did not expand upon this simple caption, but it remained clear that he will be doing what it takes to help his fellow players succeed. Winning NFL games requires production in all three phases (offense, defense, special teams) and Elliott can make Smith's life easier by keeping his defense on the sideline with long, clock-grinding drives.
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Achieving this has not been particularly easy for the very wealthy running back, however, considering that he has been used less frequently in the offensive attack. He has not topped 100 rushing yards since Nov. 4 and was only given 12 carries on Thanksgiving against the Bills.
Without long, clock-grinding drives that relied on the rushing attack, the Cowboys finished with a shorter time of possession than the Bills. They only held the ball for 26 minutes, 42 second, as opposed to 33 minutes, 18 seconds, and put extra pressure on Smith and the defense to produce with less time to rest.
With the Chicago Bears on the docket this Thursday, the Cowboys will be on a mission to prove that they are the rightful heirs to the NFC East crown. Getting Zeke involved early and often will be part of the strategy given that the Bears pass defense has found success at times this season while the Cowboys have struggled with recent turnovers.
Having Zeke top 100 yards rushing won't necessarily guarantee a victory for America's Team, but it will make the task easier to fulfill. Additionally, it will provide a boost for Smith and his fellow defenders as they try to shut down Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears offense.
(Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty)