Cowboys want Ezekiel Elliott to 'earn' starting RB gig


(Dear reader, please brace yourself for some wicked spin and classic coach speak. Thank you.)

The Dallas Cowboys selected Ezekiel Elliott with the No. 4 overall pick in the NFL draft. The presumption from the moment his name was called has been that the running back will start and carry the load.

First, the rookie must earn the job.

"He's going to compete," running back coach Gary Brown said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Zeke has to earn it. I think that's the best thing for our team and for those guys going forward."

With all due respect to Mr. Brown, it's a load of crap to think Elliott shouldn't already be considered the starter.

Elliott will not only start, but also will carry a major workload. The Cowboys brass would look ridiculously foolish using the No. 4 overall pick in the draft on a running back who can't beat out Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris.

By all accounts, Elliott possesses game-changing skills, which was why the Cowboys rejected current draft protocols and selected a running back so highly.

Of course, coaches are going to zombie into coach-speak mode, spouting the "compete" mantra, regardless of how ridiculous it sounds to anyone with a brain.

For his part, Elliott responded just how a coach would hope, saying he has no problem competing for carries.

"It's definitely better to have the competition," Elliott said. "It keeps you on your toes and make sure you get your work done. The competition makes you better."

Competition is fine, but barring a major injury, Elliott will begin the season as the Cowboys' starting running back. Bank on it.