In some ways, it feels like Zeke has been here forever. In other ways, it seems like yesterday when he was drafted. I felt like it was time to move on, but the news hit me a little harder than expected. Overall, what’s your thoughts on Zeke’s legacy with the team? – Scott Hillsdale /Columbia, S.C.
Nick: I get what you mean, but to me, it feels like Zeke has been here for a long time. And that’s a good thing. In that time, we saw him literally grow up in front of us. And without a doubt, he had some growing up to do when he first got here – then again, who doesn’t at the age of 21? We always talk about the decline of a player and what he does on the field. And yes, as a fan, that’s really all they care about. They want their favorite players to perform at the highest level year after year. And for the most part, Zeke did that. But when you ask me about legacy … I can’t help but think about the growth and maturity that we’ve seen from Zeke here in the last few years. This is a different person than when he got here. Sure, he doesn’t rip off the 60-yard runs anymore, but whatever he’s lost as a player, he’s gained even more as a person. I get it, that’s not really what it’s about. And yes, I agree with the decision to move on. It was time and I feel like Zeke has the chance to contribute to another team more than he could here in Dallas. But as a player, I’ll never forget the toughness he ran with and the all-around game that he provided. He was a true warrior and one of the players that truly carried this team. I’m going to miss watching him play. I’m going to miss the guy in the locker room, especially since he’s one of the few that – no matter what happened in the game – he was always there front and center ready to embrace the role he had of being a team leader and superstar. The Cowboys need to move on, but it won’t be easy to do.
Patrik: I wonder if it’s generally understood how difficult it is to not only make it to the NFL, but to also do it as a mega-hyped top-5 draft pick tasked with helping to instantly change the face of a franchise, let alone the most visible and financially valuable organization in sports. Well, that’s what Ezekiel Elliott was able to accomplish with the assistance of Dak Prescott, the former turning his doubters on their head when the Cowboys were maligned for using a No. 4 pick on a running back. All Elliott did was take the league by storm, as a rookie, no less, en route to an endless amount of highlights that showed an insane mix of speed, quickness, athleticism, finesse and power while ultimately becoming one of the top three RBs to ever play for the Cowboys. More importantly, he grew as a man and a human in the process, going from a controversial start to a leader on the field, in the locker room and most certainly in the community — all while leaving it all on the field and playing through injuries that would’ve sidelined most others. So, what legacy does legacy leave in Dallas? The answer is simple: one that will likely not be mirrored for a couple generations, much like Emmitt Smith before him and Tony Dorsett before them both. The passing of time will undoubtedly reveal just how special Elliott was to this team.