Coming off a very forgettable season the rookie class is creating a lot of hope for the Dallas Cowboys in 2016. Leading the charge into the season is Ezekiel Elliott.
Recently Chase Goodbread of NFL.com wrote a piece about the top 100 rookies to make an impact. Elliott came in at number three only behind Myles Jack (2nd) and Jared Goff (1st). This is what Chase had to say about the Cowboys’ hero in a half shirt.
Elliott should not only start immediately, but flourish as well, and his skills as a receiver and blocker will invigorate the offense.
The best part of Elliott’s offense is what he can do for the team already here. Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Cole Beasley and Tony Romo will take pressure off of the rookie. At the time he will take the pressure off of the veterans as well. A season ago Todd Gurley took the world by storm with his 1,100+ yard season with 10 TDs in only 13 games. It would be illogical to think Elliott couldn’t do something similar.
The Cowboys have a better all around offense so it isn’t like Elliott has to carry the offense as Gurley did. Elliott should be the clear cut starter by opening day with newly signed Alfred Morris used to spell him. The interesting part is what to make of Darren McFadden. He could be the 3rd down back but once Lance Dunbar comes off the PUP list it could spell the end of his days in Dallas.
The former teammate Randy Gregory is now the newest interior defensive linemen for the Cowboys. Having a familiar face in the locker room could have a significant impact on Gregory. Not to mention with the lack of edge rushers on this team, Collins will be needed with David Irving and Tyrone Crawford likely making the move outside.
Collins has the motor and first step that will allow him to win at the next level. Coach Rod loves bringing waves and Maliek will be another weapon in his arsenal. Collins also made the NFL Top 100 Rookie impacts list coming in at number 48.
He won’t be on the field all the time, but DC Rod Marinelli will love Collins’ ability to penetrate against single blocks and get after the quarterback from the interior.
Tapper along side Jaylon is tough to gauge their projection as a rookie but for a different reason. Tapper seemed to be out of position with the defensive scheme that was played at Oklahoma. Spending time inside and out but not used primarily as an edge guy. He has the length and quickness to excel in Dallas.
The team will just need to be patient with Tapper. Rookies average 2.8 sacks in their rookie season so don’t expect huge numbers. Tapper came in at number 69 on the 100 Rookie Impact List.
Given Dallas’ pending four-game suspensions at the position, Tapper inherits a great shot to start early, and don’t be surprised if he entrenches himself.
You can read the full list here.