Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports activities

An extended-awaited return to glory for America’s Group might have to attend.

The hype generated by the Cowboys throughout a magical 2016 season was, in additional methods than not, nicely-warranted. One of the thrilling younger groups in current reminiscence, Dallas appeared to have the makings of a perennial contender.

And maybe that may nonetheless be the case down the street. However after a league announcement that Ezekiel Elliott will probably be suspended for six video games, these plans might very properly be pushed again a yr.

Elliott receiving a ban on the heels of a prolonged investigation into home violence allegations a minimum of tentatively sidelines one of many league’s prime playmakers for a month-and-a-half beginning Week 1.

With apologies to Dak Prescott, who put collectively a sensational rookie yr of his personal in 2016, Elliott wasted no time rising because the unquestioned centerpiece for the Cowboys. A 9-win yr-over-yr enchancment to complete the season at thirteen-three merely does not occur if the entrance workplace does not make the unconventional transfer to pick the operating again at No. four general.

Elliott returning for the ultimate 10 video games of the upcoming season would, in fact, present a serious increase for the Cowboys as they set out in quest of their first again-to-again playoff appearances since 2006-07. Six video games is a very long time within the NFL, although.

Not solely is there no assure that he’ll hit the bottom operating after such a prolonged absence from all workforce actions, however there’s additionally an actual risk that the Cowboys may have dug themselves far too huge of a gap by that time, anyway.

Week Opponent
1 vs. Giants
2 @ Broncos
three @ Cardinals
four vs. Rams
5 vs. Packers
7 @49ers

An already troublesome six-recreation stretch that options matchups towards the Giants, Broncos, Cardinals, and Packers turns into all of the tougher with out the providers of Elliott, whose workhorse position final season took strain off a rookie quarterback and masked the deficiencies of a protection with its justifiable share of drawback areas.

With November conferences with the Chiefs, Falcons, and Chargers, then the Giants, Raiders, and Seahawks in December, a 2-four begin might very nicely sewer the Cowboys’ season.

Extra strain now falls on Prescott and the protection to keep away from stumbling to such a low with out their star playmaker.