Jon Machota, Cowboys beat writer for SportsDayDFW.com and The Dallas Morning News, answered questions about the team in a live chat Friday. Here are some highlights:
When will Zeke decision come down and how will Cowboys adjust on and off the field when it does?
JM: I don’t think we’ll hear anything until after the Hall of Fame game. I doubt the league wants a have that overshadowing Jerry Jones’ HOF induction.
In terms of how they’ll adjust: Darren McFadden will step into the starting role, Ronnie Hillman will likely be utilized on third downs and Alfred Morris will get more playing time. The problem is none of them are the homerun threat that Zeke is.
Let’s use last year’s Pittsburgh game as an example: McFadden is still capable of running for 1,000 yards behind this offensive line. But he’s not having the impact that Zeke did in that game. He’s not turning that dump off from Dak Prescott into a 83-yard TD and he’s probably not having the same impact in the fourth-quarter. Without Elliott, the Cowboys don’t win that game.
They could still be very good offensively without him for a short period of time this season, but his presence opens up so much more for the offense than the other backs will.
Do you think Dallas could hold on to Ronnie Hillman and dump Alfred Morris once camp is over? Hillman might be cheaper, yeah?
JM: If Ezekiel Elliott gets a suspension, Morris will be on the final 53. If Elliott doesn’t, there’s a good chance Morris doesn’t make the 53. Hillman gives the Cowboys a third-down back with speed and pass-catching ability. He makes more sense as a replacement for Lance Dunbar. I…
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