Credit the offensive line or Zeke himself, whichever you prefer. Either way, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is out here topping some of the legends in Dallas football history.
With two more scores in the Cowboys’ 31-26 win over the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day, Elliott matched Emmitt Smith’s rookie mark of 11 rushing touchdowns. On top of that, Elliott has rushed for 1,199 yards (4.9 yards per carry) in his first year, as well; compared to Smith’s 937 total rushing yards in 15 starts in 1990, it seems fair to say that Elliott has eclipsed Smith’s rookie season with five games remaining in 2016.
Elliott is now just one rushing TD shy of tying Tony Dorsett and Herschel Walker’s shared Cowboys’ rookie record (12), and he’s already passed both of those players in rushing yards. Dorsett ran for 1,007 yards on 208 carries in 1977; Walker tallied 737 yards on 151 rushes in 1986.
Of course, Walker is way out in front of Elliott as a receiver, as he caught 76 passes for 837 yards and two TDs as a rookie. Elliott, meanwhile, has 24 receptions for 303 yards and one score. Yet with just 72 more total yards from scrimmage, Elliott would also surpass Walker’s Cowboys rookie RB record of 1,574 yards from scrimmage.