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Analyzing the Impact: Dallas NFL Draft Reaction and the Return of Ezekiel Elliott

By Alex Al-Kazzaz


The 2024 NFL draft is complete. Training camps are months away with mini-camps and OTA off-season workouts begin next month. Several teams, particularly the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles, stood out in this draft. The Pittsburgh Steelers made an impact and so did the Washington Commanders, as well as the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. The Dallas Cowboys made a few surprising moves, but their failure to take a running back stands out more than anything regarding their draft. Mel Kiper gave them a B minus for their draft efforts and expressed his disappointment in the team for not taking a running back.


Ezekiel Elliott is returning to Dallas after spending the previous season in New England. Elliott has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal, pending a physical. The 4th overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft and former Ohio State Buckeye will turn 29 this summer and is entering his 9th year in the league. Bringing Elliott in isn't going to do much good, if any, for this team. While an experienced veteran like Elliott seems beneficial over a rookie running back, Dallas' failure to draft one will surely come back and haunt them.



Dallas did very well with their pick in the first round: Tyler Guyton, OT, University of Oklahoma. Taking Marshawn Kneeland, EDGE, Western Michigan, surprised many, and most unpleasantly based on the reactions on social media. Cooper Beebe, OG, Kansas State University, was a solid pick as it added more strength for the offensive line. Marist Liufau, LB, Notre Dame, was another surprise, though his pre-draft analysis determined his potential. The same thing goes for Kneeland.


Dallas picked up a WR in the 6th round and went for a DT and another OT in the seventh round. Dallas addressed certain needs for certain positions, but their failure to draft a running back is the biggest talking point from the team's draft selections. Frankly, had Dallas taken a running back in the third round, Kiper's grade for them probably would have been an A minus. Critics are still all over Dallas for their quiet and inactive free agency.


While Dallas is taking massive criticism for not taking a running back, a logical response as to why would be that maybe their desired running back was not available. A draft never really goes according to plan for any team, and that's referring to all rounds. In other words, plans change, and it happens all the time. That's just how the business goes. When an NFL draft arrives, NFL teams always have a plan. However, due to the nature of the professional football business, it's necessary to have a Plan B, even a Plan C. In American Football terms, during draft/and or free agency, etc, teams should be prepared to call an audible if necessary.


Ezekiel Elliott obviously cannot carry the heavy workload for the running game, although he's slated to be the starter. His backup and the third string could see more action than usual, so Dallas better needs to get the entire running back depth on alert and ready to go by the time the preseason concludes.


(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)


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