Considering a few weeks ago, it was the Cowboys, not the Cardinals, who were going to be missing their star running back for the teams’ “Monday Night Football” matchup, things have changed considerably. David Johnson, of course, is out after wrist surgery. Ezekiel Elliott, who was once expected to be suspended at this point, will play as his case winds through the courts.
Elliott gained only eight yards rushing last week on nine carries, a combination of Denver’s defense and the hole the Cowboys found themselves within. Elliott shrugged off the idea the Broncos might have found the blueprint of how to slow the Dallas offense.
“Every week people stack the box,” Elliott told Dallas reporters. “It’s not something we’ve seen for the first time.”
Elliott has had a doubly rough week. Already dealing with the suspension hanging over his head and then getting stuffed by the Broncos, Elliott was then seen at the end of the game stopping completely after a Dak Prescott interception, making no effort to even try to get to a tackle.
(“I would say I was just very frustrated, but that’s no excuse for the lack of effort I showed on tape,” he said. “I just can’t do that. Being one of the leaders on the team and being a guy that people count on, I can’t put that type of stuff on film.” Elliott added, “I wasn’t myself.”)
The Cardinals have done a decent job against the run in their first two games. The Lions gained only 82 yards on the ground and the Colts 76. But neither team has the rushing potential of the Cowboys, with Elliott and one of the best offensive lines in the league. Holding him to less than 10 yards would be great — but unrealistic. Containing him somewhat is the goal, trying to mitigate whatever advantage an Elliott-minus-David-Johnson equation creates.
Tags: Cowboys, David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott
Posted in Blog | 25 Comments »
The long-discussed Ezekiel Elliott investigation finally came to an (initial) conclusion Friday when the NFL announced the Cowboys star running back would be suspended for six games for domestic violence. That’s notable because the Cowboys visit the Cardinals in Week 3 this season on “Monday Night Football,” which is the Cards’ regular-season opener at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Elliott will no doubt appeal, and so this could be far from over. The NFL’s press releases have indicated a lot of evidence against Elliott, so we will see how this goes. It could drag on for a while, and it possible it gets delayed as the regular season begins (although the courts would have to become involved for that; an appeal with the league will likely be adjudicated before the regular season begins.)
Elliott was at the Hall of Fame game last week but he did not play, just like almost every starter for both the Cowboys and Cardinals. Earlier this week, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he believed Elliott would not be suspended. Even if an appeal got the suspension cut in half, Elliott would still miss the Cardinals’ game.
It’d be the second straight year a star player would miss the regular-season home opener at University of Phoenix Stadium. As you recall, Tom Brady wasn’t there last season. As you recall, it didn’t end up helping.
Tags: Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott, Patriots, Tom Brady
Posted in Blog | 11 Comments »
The weekend signaled the end of the NFC West’s season (with the Seahawks getting run over in Atlanta) and then the Packers toppling the No. 1-seeded Cowboys Sunday. Some thoughts as the NFC — which didn’t have the Cardinals — whittled their Super Bowl possibilities down to two:
— Aaron Rodgers is amazing. That pass he lasered to tight end Jared Cook to set up the game-winning field goal (Cook made an incredible catch too) was hard to fathom. It’s not like the Cardinals haven’t seen that before. They (and their fans) did just last year. It’s just that Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald made sure Rodgers didn’t get the last word in overtime.
— Coming into the season, Bruce Arians talked more than once about how the Cards have started hot before and want to see what it would be like to go into the postseason as the hot team. Obviously the Cardinals didn’t get to do that, but the Packers are the ultimate example of a hot team now. Yes, Green Bay got a home game in the first week as a division winner, but they are 2008 Cardinals hot right now. The Falcons are playing really well right now, they get a home NFC Championship and the Packers are injured all over the place on defense. But then again, A-Rod.
— That final week Pack-over-the-Lions game that gave the Cardinals a road game in Detroit next season instead of Green Bay (and put the Seahawks with a road game at Green Bay) could mean a lot in the NFC West race.
— The Cards also get a home game against the Cowboys next season, and I’ve seen enough of Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott to understand that Dallas is going to be a force in the conference for awhile, barring injury.
— The way the Packers and the Falcons can score, will they threaten that 51-45 Cardinals-Packers playoff score from a few years back?
Tags: Aaron Rodgers, Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Jared Cook, Lions, Packers, playoffs
Posted in Blog | 11 Comments »