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Cowboys DC Marinelli 'elated' about Ezekiel Elliott pick

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Some Dallas Cowboys fans love the Ezekiel Elliott selection, believing he can have a Emmitt Smith-type influence on the offense. Others scowled that the front office would eschew adding to a weak defense, especially with two defensive ends facing suspension.

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Count Rod Marinelli as one who's happy to have Elliott on his squad. The defensive coordinator believes the running back can be a positive not only for the offense, but defense as well.

"I'm elated because I think you always look at the big picture," Marinelli told KRLD-FM, via the Dallas Morning News. "... We don't play fantasy football. It's not that. A one-yard, two-yard run there's fight and physicalness. That's good for your team. It develops toughness. We have to go against that offense every day. We play our offense more than anybody. It develops a hardness to your defense. You've got to play against a great line, a great back, now you've got to match up on an All-Pro receiver, great quarterback.

"... It's the physical nature of the game, which at times is being lost in today's football. The physical nature of the game, I believe in that. This young man and the other backs are going to bring that."

Facing a great back in practice can be a benefit, but you need to have capable bodies to build up first.

Two years ago the Cowboys entered the season with one of the most maligned defenses in the NFL. Then DeMarco Murray churned out yards, milking the clock and keeping that defense off the field for large chunks of the game. It allowed Dallas to milk the most out of its defensive talent and make the playoffs.

Marinelli hopes Elliott can aid both sides of the ball in a similar fashion.

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