Turns out that the New York Giants aren’t doing anything drastic to prepare for Ezekiel Elliott, who may or may not play for the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1.
Turns out, stopping Elliott or any of the other Cowboys running backs is all based on the same philosophy, at least according to their head coach.
It is unknown yet if Elliott’s appeal to overturn a six-game suspension to start the season will result in the Cowboys running back seeing the field in Week 1. As a rookie, Elliott led the league in rushing and was an obvious selection to be both a member of the Pro Bowl and being an All-Pro.
But with him possibly missing the season opener due to suspension, the Giants aren’t changing their approach to stopping the Cowboys rushing game. Even if the best running back in the league is absent.
“Listen, our focus is on preparing for Dallas and all backs run the same when there is nowhere to run,” Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said. “So, our goal is to do our job and be prepared to stop the run and if he’s playing, great; if he’s not, then that’s great. We are going to play whoever suits up for them.”
The Cowboys moved up in the draft last year to take Elliott fourth overall, a move that was panned at the time. But the former Ohio State rusher paid back their confidence in him and then some, easily being the best offensive rookie in all of football last year.
Last year against the Giants in what was his NFL debut, Elliott had just 51 rushing yards on 20 carries with one touchdown, his lowest rushing total of the season. But in Week 14 at the Giants he had a much more typical outing with 24 carries for 107 yards in a Sunday night loss. It was one of seven games last year in which Elliott topped 100 yards rushing.
“I’m hoping that his appeal goes through. He’s a great player, an exciting player and I love to play against the best players,” Giants safety Landon Collins said. “If not, we’re going to see him in the second game and we’ll keep working on whoever they’ve got [playing running back] and work them throughout the game.”