The Dallas Cowboys’ offensive line was reminiscent of the dominating unit that helped produce three of the last five rushing champions Sunday against the New York Giants.
All-pro running back Ezekiel Elliot took first-hand notice after rushing for 139 yards on 23 carries in Dallas’ 37-18 win.
“It was the easiest 140 yards I’ve ever gained,” Elliott said, via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. “I don’t even know If I broke a tackle (at the first level). I just ran inside the scheme. (The Cowboys’ offensive line) just mauled them upfront. Thank them for making it easier for me. (You) got to love the big fellas.”
Elliott’s 100-yard performance not only marked his fifth in eight games (third consecutive), but it embodied a trend fans should be accustomed to in his fourth year.
Given how grueling the back half of the schedule is for the Cowboys this year it’s encouraging to know how impactful Elliott has been in his career after the bye week.
Since his rookie year, Elliott has averaged nearly 117 yards rushing/game after the Cowboys bye to pair alongside his 18 rushing touchdowns.
Most 100-yard rushing games since 2016:
Ezekiel Elliott: 23
Jordan Howard: 14
Todd Gurley: 12
LeSean McCoy: 12
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 30, 2019
11 of the 23 post-bye games Elliott has played in has resulted in 100-yard days for him with another six contests seeing him record at least 90 yards on the ground.
In the games Elliott rushed for at least 100 yards in, Dallas sits at 10-1 in post-bye games since his rookie year (currently on a 10-game winning streak). The record slightly dips to 8-2 in contests where he got at least 90 rushing yards.
Ezekiel Elliott is on pace to rush for 1,482 yards (second-most of his career) on 316 carries (4.68 ypc), and he currently has as many rushing TDs through the first eight games of 2019 as he had all last season.
— Patrik [No C] Walker (@VoiceOfTheStar) November 6, 2019
Five of the Cowboys’ last eight opponents are currently ranked inside the top-12 in rush defense – Vikings (9), Patriots (12), Bears (8), Rams (10) and Eagles (5).
Of the Cowboys’ last eight games, those fives have been looked at all year as possible league shakers. Considering the Eagles are just a half-game out of first place with two games against the Giants and a pair of matches against the Dolphins and Redskins left, Zeke must continue his dominate post-bye trend.
The division winner hasn’t come down to week 17 since the Cowboys’ loss against the Eagles in 2013. However, it’s not out of the realm of possibility Dallas and Philly are headed for a week 16 collision in which the division title could be on the line at Lincoln Financial Field.
The good news? The Cowboys are 5-2 against Philadelphia under Dak Prescott. They’re also 4-0 against the NFC East this year.
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