Ezekiel Elliott was expected to make a big impact in the NFL right away. His numbers through five games put him in truly elite company.
Drafted fourth overall, the Dallas Cowboys envisioned Ezekiel Elliott joining Tony Romo and Dez Bryant as a trio that looked something like the Troy Aikman, Emmett Smith, Michael Irvin Cowboys teams that dominated in the 1990s. Bryant has been banged up for a few weeks, and Romo is yet to play this season, but Elliott has lived up to expectations... and more.
Through five games, Elliott's 627 yards from scrimmage are fourth in the last 35 years, behind Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk and future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson, and just ahead of another back enshrined in Canton—Marcus Allen.
Elliott's production may be even more impressive considering his first two games were far from eye-popping. After 54 total yards in the season opener against the New York Giants, and 87 yards at Washington, Elliott has exploded for 488 total yards in the last three games, all Cowboys wins.
Dallas has a stiff test this weekend at the Green Bay Packers, who have one of the best rushing defenses in the NFL. The Cowboys boast the NFL's top offensive line, which has certainly helped Elliott's case. He and Dak Prescott's rookie performances, along with Carson Wentz's fast start in Philadelphia, have made for an incredibly interesting—an unexpected—race in the NFC East.