DALLAS – One of the 2020 NFL postseason’s biggest stars, Tennessee Titan running back Derrick Henry is the betting favorite to lead the league in rushing again this year, topping Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott.
After winning the rushing title in 2019 with 1,540 yards, Henry has 3-1 odds to do it again in 2020. The last time a running back lead the league in back-to-back years was in 2006 and 2007 by LaDainian Tomlinson.
Elliott has the next-best odds at 6-1. If you bet $100 right now, you’d win $600 if the Dallas Cowboys star tops the rest in rushing yards at the end of the season.
In the three full NFL seasons Elliott has played, he has led the league in yards rushing for two of them. Could he be en route to his third rushing title in 2020?
It’s a bet worth considering but don’t cry to me if it doesn’t pay. Playing Devil’s advocate, here is why you’d lay down the cash…
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The (obvious) caveats: Health and a full season.
Elliott should benefit from open lanes thanks to his 2020 supporting cast and a dangerous Cowboys passing game. Attention must be paid to Dallas’ loaded receiving corps. While Elliott will carry the workload on the ground, he is also a threat through the air, keeping opposing defenses guessing. In his four seasons, Elliott totaled 189 receptions for 1,619 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns.
In short, Elliott is large in part to why the Cowboys believe they are going to be a nightmare to defend. New coach Mike McCarthy plans on keeping it that way. His plan is simple.
“First off, with Zeke, he’s going to get the football,” said McCarthy right after being hired in January. “Let’s make no mistake about that.''
Last season in Elliott’s “down year” his 1,357 rushing yards finished fourth in the league. Elliott only had four runs for more than 20 yards.
Lack of Elliott explosion plays in 2019 feels like an opportunity, especially with McCarthy’s “feed Zeke” mentality. Dallas’ offense is set up to be maybe pass-first but definitely potent in 2020. Amidst it all, imagine the rushing numbers if Elliott broke away for more long runs… It could be enough to earn his third rushing title.
Not to mention, propel the Cowboys to a playoff run.