Rookie for MVP

by Reid McEowen, Staff Writer

The 4th overall pick, Ezekiel Elliott, has lead the “Boys” to an unexpected 11-2 start, and generated rumors of a possible MVP as he has taken the league by storm. But questions have begin to arise over if Ezekiel Elliott really deserves to be the first rookie MVP in NFL history.    

Elliot started off the season playing like every rookie would, and ended up losing his first career start in which he only had 51 total yards. That first game seemed to be the telling sign of how the season would go, and critics of Elliott attacked him saying he would be just another average running-back or even a draft bust. Elliott seemed to take those insults to heart and came out fighting the following 5 weeks by averaging 100 yards 1.5 half touchdowns per game and 5 straight wins to improve to 6-1.

Elliott, already adored by the Cowboys’ fan base, sprung onto the NFL radar during the toughest game of the season against a veteran team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers came out fighting, going out to a quick 12-3 lead, and the young demoralised Cowboys relied on Elliott to breathe life back into the team. He delivered with a 83 yard touchdown that cut the lead to 2 with little time left in the first half. With time dwindling left, the game went back and forth, and  the Cowboys found themselves down by one with little time left. Dallas once again needed Elliott to make things happen. He came to the rescue with a 14 yard touchdown with 1:55 left in game and put the nail in the coffin with a 32-yard touchdown that resulted in a heroic comeback and the Cowboys eighth straight win. Elliott once again had an unprecedented game with 209 all purpose yards and three total TD’s.

Elliott continued his greatness and now leads all running-backs in rushing yards with 1,392 yards, which is 257 more yards than the next closest back (DeMarco Murray with 1,135). Elliott is also on pace to shatter all rookie season rushing records for the Dallas Cowboys, and continues to chase the League record for most rushing yards in a single season of 1,808 which is held by Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson. Ezekiel Elliott is arguably the best player for the best team in the NFL, and he continues to carry them even though he is an infant compared to the rest of the NFL.

Despite this impressive body of work, Elliot still manages to have critics. These seemingly aloof spectators claim that Elliott has all his work done for him by Dallas’s offensive line and fellow rookie Dak Prescott. The offensive line is undoubtedly one of the best O-lines in the NFL, but what is amazing about Elliott is the work he can do in the open field and how he is able to hurdle, out run, run through, and simply break the will of the opposing defenses. As for Dak Prescott, I believe without Ezekiel Elliott taking away the majority of the defensive focus he would be a slightly above average rookie quarterback. What Dak Prescott has done and the shoes he has filled have been astonishing, but his inconsistent play and failure to deliver in big moments should eliminate him from all MVP talks.

Elliot, plain and simple, is the best MVP candidate at the moment. His body of work, leadership and never-ending love for the game perfectly fit the mold for the Most Valuable Player. If Elliott continues to perform the way he has been for the past 13 weeks, and the Dallas Cowboys finish with the best records in the NFL he will most-defiantly deserve the MVP and certainly be the Face of the NFL for years to come. Elliott could finally bring the pride and prestige that comes with the title of “America’s Team” back to the North Texas area.


photo credit: flickr