Ezekiel Elliott is eating this season.
Mood 🍽 pic.twitter.com/hRqVROWYaV— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) November 20, 2016
With over 1,100 rushing yards, Elliott leads the NFL in rushing not only among rookies, but among all players. He also has 11 total touchdowns.
Zeke keeps making history.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 24, 2016
Elliott is the 1st Cowboys rookie to score 10 rushing TD since Emmitt Smith in 1990. pic.twitter.com/3x0T1nM3I8
Certainly there were high expectations placed on him coming into the year—he was the fourth overall pick, after all—but it’s safe to say Zeke has already surpassed all of them.
But are we all getting ahead of ourselves? Could Elliott really be as dominant throughout his career as we think he could be?
Former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson weighed in on comparisons between Elliott and Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith during an appearance on Jason Whitlock’s Fox Sports 1 show, Speak for Yourself.
Johnson says no—we aren’t getting ahead of ourselves. Elliott really is that good.
“Elliott’s bigger, stronger, maybe even a step faster than Emmitt Smith,” Johnson said. “But they’re both very similar. I think, you know, Ezekiel Elliott is a more powerful runner. He runs over people. Both of ’em can make people miss, so you don’t really get a big shot on ’em. But Elliott will take on tacklers, whereas, you know, Emmitt never did this.”
Let’s not downplay all Smith accomplished—he’s one of the all-time greats. It’s an interesting take because we all know Johnson knows his stuff. As a head coach, he won two Super Bowls and a college national championship. He also coached Smith for three years, from 1990-93.
The coach in him is probably going nuts watching what Elliott is doing on the field this year. Entering today’s game, Elliott was on pace for 1,763 yards. In Smith’s best season, he ran for 1,773.
There are still a lot of unknowns, and situations can change quickly, but let’s appreciate this special talent as we watch him blossom.