Christmas has come early for the Falcons, there will be no Zeke
Atlanta Falcons fans, Christmas has come early for the Dirty Birds this year. Dallas Cowboy running back Ezekiel Elliott will not take the field on Sunday against the Falcons.
ESPN reporter Adam Schefter, amongst others, has reported that Dallas Cowboy running back Ezekiel Elliott will begin serving his six game suspension immediately.
This means that Elliott will not lineup against the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday. A pivotal game for both teams, each franchise is fighting to secure a playoff spot. With such ramifications, losing Elliott could prove to be detrimental for the Cowboys. Dallas ranks third in rushing amongst NFL teams, but ranks twenty-first in passing.
Elliott’s suspension favors the Falcons, as they will not have to contend with the Cowboys rusher, who currently has 783 rushing yards on the season. Elliott is second in rushing yards amongst all NFL players.
Our in-house analyst Matt Karoly provides some insight regarding Elliott and the Falcons ability to stop the run. Karoly’s point makes it clear that Elliott’s absence benefits Atlanta.
"“Over his two and a half year tenure in Atlanta, (Head Coach) Dan Quinn has led the Falcons to a 14-6 record in games in which the defense has given up less than 100 yards rushing. On the flip side, since Ezekiel Elliott was drafted 4th overall by the Cowboys in 2016, Dallas has a record of 18-5 in games that Elliott has suited up. Opponents have only held Elliott to less than 80 yards on two occasions.”"
With Elliott out, Atlanta will still have to contend with AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Dak Prescott. The Falcons defense will be challenged on Sunday. However, Elliot’s suspension could prove to be the deciding factor in this Falcons and Cowboys matchup. Will the Cowboys be able to beat the Falcons without their star running back?
Atlanta needs this win in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. Dallas is one of the teams currently standing in the Falcons way of a wild card playoff spot. This is a very important game for both teams.
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If Atlanta can capitalize on Elliott’s absence, this win at home could prove to be the momentum the Falcons need to finish the second half of the year strong.