FRISCO - Ezekiel Elliott, the Dallas Cowboys star running back of today, has a fumble problem.
Emmitt Smith, the Dallas Cowboys star running back of all-time, has a fumble solution.
Amid reckless speculation that Dallas was thinking of cutting Zeke - that was never going to happen, and indeed the Cowboys did the opposite this offseason, allowing a deadline to pass in a way that now guarantees his salary for not only 2021, but also 2022.
And this can all work out fine ... if he doesn't fumble six times, as he did in 2020.
The two-time league rushing champ lost four fumbles across a six-week period, the bunch coming in the first few weeks of the season. In mid-October, he essentially got benched in a loss to Arizona.
“They did the right thing,” he said after the game. “I’m giving the ball away. I wasn’t helping the team. … I’m supposed to be a guy that this team can lean on when times get rough, and I just wasn’t that today.”
“I want to say that I’m sorry and this one’s on me.''
Or maybe, Emmitt suggests, this one - all six of them - are on COVID.
“I don’t think you have (seen the best of Zeke),'' said the NFL's all-time leading rusher of Elliott, the two-time league rushing champion who did not put up his usual big numbers in Dallas 6-10 campaign in 2020. "I think with Ezekiel Elliott, many people forget that Zeke had COVID-19 before the season even got started. And no one knows what COVID-19 will do to your body until you go through it.''
Emmitt, joining Morten Andersen on the Great Dane Nation Podcast presented by VegasInsider.com, theorizes that you could see changes in Elliott's frame that could've been the result of Zeke's offseason bout with COVID.
"If you look at his body and play through the first five or six weeks of the season, his body structure, his weight looked a little bit different than the latter part of the season,'' Emmitt said. "Physically you just look at him, he looks a lot leaner in the latter part of the season than he did in the first part of the season.''
Elliott - who after all is just 25 - will need to fix the issues, and the healthy return of QB Dak Prescott (lost for the 2020 season in Week 5) will help that. But Emmitt is suggesting an interesting angle here, that a healthy Elliott will be the different ... because who knows how unhealthy he really was last year?
"I do believe that Zeke will be better for what he had gone through,'' Smith said. "And he will be prepared and probably start to take care of himself differently for what he has gone through.''
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