Ezekiel Elliott's suspension being given a stay of execution by the legal system was supposed to be a blessing for the Dallas Cowboys. Last night, it looked like Zeke would've preferred to have been on vacation.
The Cowboys were humiliated by the Broncos at Mile High yesterday. They weren't beaten or handed a tough loss, they were humiliated. That is the only way to describe the beatdown that took place.
The game ended 42-17, with the Cowboys lacking on pretty much every single phase of play, with Dak Prescott having the worst game of his short career to date, and the Dallas corners putting in a shocker of a performance. And then there was Elliott...who finished the game with 8 yards. Eight.
When was the last time Ezekiel Elliott had less than 10 rushing yards in a game? Well, according to the man himself, it has never happened. Not once. From PeeWee, to high school, to Ohio State. No one has ever shut down Zeke like that.
So, how did the Broncos manage it? Well, it's very simple. They just picked apart what is actually a very simple game plan.
Earlier in the week, Broncos head coach Vance Joseph proclaimed that the Cowboys rushing attack isn't actually all that complicated. It's a straightforward system that is executed perfectly by the Cowboys by their incredible O-Line and phenom of a running back.
So how did the Broncos overcome the perfect execution of the likes of Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and co? Well, they made it impossible to execute.
The Broncos sold out completely to stop the run. They stacked the box at every possible occasion, putting hat on hat and still having defenders to spare in their effort to shut down Elliott. When you have Derek Wolfe, Von Miller, Domata Peko, Shaq Barrett, Brandon Marshall and more all committed to making sure you can't do your job - well, you're going to have a bad time.
Elliott averages five yards per carry over his career. He managed that just once last night. Time and time again he was hit in the backfield. So much in fact, that the Cowboys gave up on the run and made Dak Prescott pass it a ton. That did not go well.
Overpower the O-Line + trust your DB's to make plays = success. However, something tells me that many other times won't be able to rely on All-Pro corners winning one-on-one battles all night. Oh well.