Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Minnesota Vikings, but quarterback Dak Prescott still performed with 397 passing yards and three touchdowns. Ezekiel Elliott, however, only ran for 47 yards and tallied 16 as a receiving option. For Shannon Sharpe, co-host of Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, this proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that Elliott is the most important player on the Cowboys' roster.
"Even when Dak plays well, teams are geared to stop Zeke Elliott because they say, 'if we can't stop Zeke we can't beat the Cowboys'. Dak is having his best season of his NFL career, and has a 5-4 record to show for it," Sharpe said on Tuesday morning.
As he explained to a disagreeing Skip Bayless, Sharpe believes that teams are focusing on shutting down the rushing attack before even thinking about Prescott and his talented trio of receivers. Letting the quarterback throw for nearly 400 yards is less of a concern than letting Elliott reach 100 on the ground.
"Dak is not the most important Cowboy. Even when Dak plays well, teams are geared to stop Zeke Elliott because they say, 'if we can't stop Zeke we can't beat the Cowboys'. Dak is having his best season of his NFL career, and has a 5-4 record to show for it." — @ShannonSharpe pic.twitter.com/Jv3VQdOBAG— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) November 12, 2019
To further his point, Sharpe brought up a comment by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in which he said that you could have put a sign up saying that Zeke isn't going anywhere. Essentially, Jones knew that the Vikings were completely focused on shutting down Elliott instead of thinking about the ways in which they would limit Prescott.
Granted, this statement by Jones fits with a very common strategy in the NFL, which is to shut down the rushing attack and then focus on the quarterback. Even when playing Russell Wilson or Patrick Mahomes, coaches and defenders still start their press conferences by saying that they need to shut down the run and put the offense into a pass-only mode.
The Vikings did just that and put Dallas in a position where they needed to throw the ball more frequently in order to keep pace with Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota offense. Although this strategy partially backfired considering that Prescott nearly led a comeback on Sunday night.
With Elliott recently inking a six-year, $90 million extension, the focus has turned to Prescott and the final year of his rookie deal. He wants to be paid like a top quarterback in the NFL, someone that is the most important person on their roster. In Shannon Sharpe's opinion, he doesn't deserve this title.
(Photo Credit: Richard Rodriguez/Getty)