Can the Dallas Cowboys make a playoff push without Ezekiel Elliott?

  • Jimmie Kaylor
  • All 22
7:50 p.m Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 Atlanta Falcons

On Thursday afternoon, the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the NFL, denying Dallas Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliott the injunction he was looking for to block his six-game domestic violence suspension.

Elliott was also granted an expedited appeal hearing, but that won’t happen until December 1. As a result, the former Ohio State star will miss the Cowboys’ next four games at the very least. If he does miss all six games that his suspension includes, the 2016 NFL rushing champion will not be eligible to return to action until Dallas’ Week 16 game against the Seattle Seahawks on December 24.

The Cowboys currently own a 5-3 overall record, which puts them very much in the mix to qualify for the NFC playoffs. Their road to the postseason will be much bumpier without Elliott, though.

Dallas’ next six games are against the Atlanta Falcons (road), Philadelphia Eagles (home), Los Angeles Chargers (home), Washington Redskins (home), New York Giants (road), and Oakland Raiders (road).

Here are the #Cowboys next 6 games and how they rank against the run. pic.twitter.com/J0hSK0MwXs

— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) November 9, 2017

Realistically, the Cowboys could very well go 5-1 in Elliott’s absence. Philadelphia is the only team with a winning record through Week 9, and when it comes down to it, it’s hard to see them beating the Eagles, who have the No. 1 rushing defense in the league, without their 22-year-old workhorse back. Other than that, the Cowboys should at the very minimum be competitive in the other five games that Elliott is schedule to miss.

If they are able to go 4-2 or 5-1, maybe even 3-3, over the next six weeks, the Cowboys will be right in the thick of the NFC postseason race when Elliott returns.

If that happens, Elliott will be in a position to return from his suspension well-rested just in time for the Cowboys to make a deep postseason run.

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