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Former NFL GM Has Harsh Comment About Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott on Sunday afternoon.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 03: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys kneels in the endzone before the game against the Carolina Panthers at AT&T Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Despite being the leading rusher on the NFL's No. 1 offense last season, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott didn't have his best season in 2021. But one former NFL general manager believes that it's unlikely he'll be able to return to form.

On Wednesday's edition of ESPN's Get Up, former Jets and Dolphins general manager Mike Tannenbaum asserted that he doesn't believe the Cowboys should make Ezekiel the focal point of their offense in 2022. He pointed to his decline in rushing yards per game and said that the Cowboys are "average at best" with him in that role.

"Zeke Elliott was yesterday's news..." Tannenbaum said. "If they are running their offense through him, they are average at best."

That's a pretty brutal assessment. But there's no denying that Elliott wasn't the same runner in 2021 (or 2020 for that matter) that he was when he entered the league in 2016 and took the NFL by storm.

Over the past two seasons Ezekiel Elliott has just under 2,000 rushing yards - that's four-hundred less than any other two-year span in his career thus far. 

However, a possible reason for his decreased effectiveness is his decreased touches. Last year - despite starting all 17 games - Elliott averaged a career-low 13.9 carries per game as he split time with Tony Pollard.

Granted, the Cowboys could have given Elliott fewer carries as a consequence of his not getting enough yards with those carries, but the fact remains that he hasn't been used as the "bell cow back" that they used him as in his first few seasons.

Over the past two years, Elliott has averaged just 15 carries per game versus the 20 carries per game he had in his first two seasons.

Does Mike Tannenbaum have a point?