A Cowboy Kicks It Off

#10. Ezekiel Elliott– It had to be nice to be this guy last year. You’re the fourth overall draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, you get selected by a legendary franchise in the Dallas Cowboys and then, you put together a season to remember in your rookie season! A rookie and no, that isn’t a typo. This is the seventh year in a row that The Daily Blitz has done this ten best players list and a player after his rookie campaign has never made it. That changes now. To kick everything off for the 2017 edition of the list, Ezekiel Elliott starts us off as my tenth best player in the NFL, my third best running back in the business and the first of a Daily Blitz record, six new faces making their debut. I was very impressed with him at Ohio State, especially at the end of the 2014 season when he single-handedly put the team on his back and ran them to a national championship. What he did in Columbus is the same exact thing he’s doing for the Dallas Cowboys. He’s a husky guy that shows tremendous balance for a man his size and when you think he’s about to fall, he powers himself to stay on his feet and keeps fighting for the extra yards. He’s a guy that can find space no matter where he’s running whether it’s in between the tackles or outside, he’s going to get his yards. When he gets the ball and he makes contact, he’s the one that’s normally creating the contact and it truly takes a lot more than one guy to bring him down. Everybody has seen what he can do. He has the breakaway speed to cut in and out, he can leap over a tackler and the field vision he displays is something I’ve never seen from such a young running back. One attribute he doesn’t get the credit he deserves is his blocking. I remember when the Cowboys played Tampa Bay last December, Gerald McCoy came in on a stunt up the middle and he got absolutely drilled. It wasn’t a lineman who did it, it was Zeke and that shows he’s aware of everything around him. He’s a hard runner with good speed and he’s even able to catch the football out the backfield on screens and make something happen. I often think of the screen pass against the Steelers that he caught and he took it to the house for six. He showed his poise, athleticism and play making skills all on that one play. He led all running backs with 1,631 yards in his first season and was one of the reasons the Cowboys won 13 games and were the top seed in the NFC playoffs. This is his first time featured on the list and this won’t be his last time either.