After a series of appeals, the National Football League will finally be allowed to uphold Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension for violating the personal conduct policy.
The first game he’ll miss? Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
This is a huge break for Atlanta as they prepare for a must-win game that’ll be broadcast to a national audience at 4:25 p.m. Sunday evening. The Cowboys currently rank second in the NFL in team rushing, averaging 148.1 yards per game. Elliott is responsible for a majority of those yards, averaging 97.9 yards per game – good enough to rank third-best in the league.
Elliott had been heating up recently, rushing for at least 93 yards in each of the last four games. During that same stretch, he scored five touchdowns, providing a spark in the Dallas ground game that propelled them to three consecutive wins following a 2-3 start that left many calling the Cowboys the biggest disappointment of the season’s first month.
Now, they’ll face another team that has been labeled a disappointment so far – the Falcons. Atlanta won’t have to worry about Elliott; rather, it’ll be running backs Alfred Morris, Rod Smith and Darren McFadden expected to carry the load behind a Dallas offensive line that’s easily one of the best in the league.
For Atlanta, this should be a huge break, as their rushing defense ranks No. 18 in the NFL in yards allowed per game. This defense was built on speed and is stronger against the pass, so if the Falcons can stifle the Cowboys’ thinned-out running game and force quarterback Dak Prescott to throw frequently, this could be a huge opportunity for Atlanta to get a win.
That is, if the Falcons’ offense can find a way to score some points, which has been anything but a given this year.Follow @Sean_Breslin