Ezekiel Elliott has a big fan in the man whose team will be trying to shut him down on Sunday: Chip Kelly.
The Ohio State-turned-Cowboys star defied current NFL Draft convention, being drafted No. 4 overall by Dallas as a running back. Backs are often seen as replaceable, and rarely go that high because of durability concerns with the position. Elliott, however, has a rare combination of skills as a rusher, pass-catcher, and perhaps most importantly, a blocker in the backfield.
San Francisco 49ers' head coach Chip Kelly totally got why Elliott went in the top five. He was effervescent in his praise of the young Cowboys rusher today, ahead of his team's home game against Dallas on Sunday afternoon.
A lot has been written about Elliott's early season struggles after he entered his rookie year with monumental hype. However, he has been one of the more effective backs in the NFL so far this season, especially after his impressive effort vs. the Chicago Bears last Sunday night.
Ezekiel Elliott is tied for No. 2 in the league in rushing yards with 274 along with Cleveland Brown Isaiah Crowell. Only LeGarrette Blount (298) has more. Elliott has also reached the end zone twice, though fantasy owners certainly wish fellow Cowboys Alfred Morris and Lance Dunbar would stop getting so many red zone touches.
Against the Bears, Elliott ran 30 times for 140 yards, and added 20 yards on two receptions. Fumbles are a concern, as Elliott coughed it up twice against the Washington Redskins, but expect the young Cowboy rusher to continue to get more and more work as the year goes on. If fellow rookie Dak Prescott continues to develop, and Dez Bryant's knee injury is manageable, the Cowboys should contend in the NFC East despite the injury to Tony Romo.