Scouting Report: Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Vito Chirco

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has thrashed the Lions before -- to no surprise. Will he do it again on Sunday? 

In two career games against the Lions, the one-time All-Pro has rushed for 232 yards and two touchdowns, along with 100 receiving yards and a score.

The last time "Zeke" faced the Lions came in Week 4 of last season. In that game, the fourth-year running back rushed for 152 yards, and also accumulated 88 reception yards and a TD.     

It resulted in a career-high 240 yards from scrimmage for him.

It also marked one of Detroit's all-time worst defensive performances against an individual player.

Elliott became the fourth player to produce 240 or more scrimmage yards in a game against the Lions. And it came in only Matt Patricia's fourth week on the job as Detroit head man -- far from an optimal start to his head-coaching tenure.  

Before Elliott, it hadn't been done since former Seattle Seahawks great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Largent accounted for 261 scrimmage yards in a game in the Motor City in 1987.

All of Largent's yards came as a receiver, though. 

Meanwhile, Elliott got it done as both a back and receiver, making his performance arguably more impressive.

He comes into this Week 11 matchup with six scores on the ground -- tied with his total from last year -- but also with a career-low rushing yards per game total (87.6) and career-low receiving yards per game total (21.3).

Through nine games, he also hasn't recorded a TD catch yet. 

In each of his first three NFL seasons, he recorded at least one TD reception, including three a season ago.       

And I almost forgot to mention that Zeke is coming off a subpar Week 10 performance against the Minnesota Vikings in which he rushed for just 47 yards and hauled in two balls for 16 yards. 

What does this all mean? 

Simply, he's due for a big game on Sunday against Matt Patricia & Co. 

Patricia's defense hasn't stopped anyone on the ground this season, allowing 129.7 rushing yards per game -- the 27th-worst mark in the NFL.

And the Lions' D has been even worse at stopping the pass. It's allowed 272.4 yards per game through the air -- 28th-worst in the league.

The Cowboys' offense -- spearheaded by Elliott and fourth-year quarterback Dak Prescott -- should be able to exploit the Lions' porous defense all game long.

Expect the former Ohio State standout -- the No. 1 back in a backfield that has averaged the fifth-most yards on the ground this season (138.2 ) -- to take full advantage of Detroit's deficiencies. 

Vito's prediction for Elliott in Week 11:

21 carries for 108 yards and a TD, to go along with four catches for 42 yards

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