As the Ezekiel Elliott saga drags on – the star running back’s six-game suspension was put on hold again and he will play this Sunday against San Francisco – one must wonder: What happens if Elliott actually has to miss games? Could the Cowboys weather the storm in his absence?
Drew Pearson says yes.
“One thing the Cowboys know how to handle or deal with is distractions,” the former Dallas wide receiver said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “They’re the Dallas Cowboys. When you got an owner like Jerry Jones, there’s always going to be some kind of distraction to deal with. We’ve dealt with suspended players before and injured players. This is a little new as far as the case with Zeke because it’s extended out so long. You normally get your results in a situation like this a little sooner. But if there’s any position on the Dallas Cowboys right now that has the depth to replace a key performer or a starter or a player like Zeke Elliott, it’s the running back position.”
Alfred Morris, who began his career with three 1,000-yard seasons, has just eight carries this season, but he’s rushed for 87 yards (10.9 yards per carry), the vast majority of which came on a 70-yard scamper.
“He’s stepped up and performed,” said Pearson, who played for Dallas from 1973-83. “He’s a veteran back, he’s been over 1,000 yards (in his career), and he’s got the Cowboys’ longest run from scrimmage so far this season. So he’s a quality back. He’s 28 years old, he’s still young – he just hasn’t had the reps at the position and hasn’t taken on a lot of hits there.”
Dallas also has Darren McFadden and Rod Smith in case of emergency.
“The running back position is well-stocked and, I think, will be okay,” Pearson said. “As long as that offensive line stays intact, as long as we have the threat in that passing game, I think we’ll be okay on offense.”
The Cowboys, who are coming off a bye, have a tough slate upcoming: at San Francisco (0-6), at Washington (3-2), against Kansas City (5-1), at Atlanta (3-2), and against Philadelphia (5-1). Sunday’s kickoff from Santa Clara is slated for 4:05 p.m. ET.