Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott’s arrival has former Dallas Cowboys buzzing

Ezekiel Elliott is a natural, Cowboys OC says

Scott Linehan talks about the Dallas Cowboys top draft pick on the first day of rookie camp at Valley Ranch.
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Scott Linehan talks about the Dallas Cowboys top draft pick on the first day of rookie camp at Valley Ranch.

From the moment NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the Dallas Cowboys had selected Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott with the No. 4 overall pick of the NFL Draft, comparisons of the dynamic potential of the team’s offense to the dynasty days of the Triplets in the 1990s have come in waves.

This weekend’s Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational brought together stars of sports and entertainment, including several members from those great Cowboys teams of the 1990s and the topic of choice was the newest impact player the Joneses have brought to Dallas.

Smith has already gone on record several times praising the addition of Elliott.

Now other former Cowboys are giving their take on Elliott and the draft class.

I think a few years down the road when we look back on this draft, we will call it a turning point for the Cowboys.

Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin

“I think the Dallas Cowboys had a great draft,” Hall of Fame wide receiver and current NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin said. “Ezekiel Elliott was absolutely the right pick not only for what he can do for the offense, but his presence in helping to move the chains will also help the defense.

“Not only Ezekiel, but Jaylon Smith is a phenomenal football player and he will get back healthy. I think a few years down the road when we look back on this draft, we will call it a turning point for the Cowboys.”

Tony Casillas, who was the starting left tackle on the Cowboys’ back-to-back championship teams in Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl XXVIII against the Buffalo Bills, praised Elliott’s versatility.

In the last 10 NFL drafts, the only running backs drafted as high as Ezekiel Elliott at No. 4 were Trent Richardson (No. 3 in 2012) and Darren McFadden (No. 4 in 2008).

“I think it’s a home run,” Casillas said. “Elliott is a guy that can come in and have an instant impact. I think this kid has the full package and I think he is what the Cowboys offense needs.

“He’s fast, he’s strong, he can come out of the backfield and catch passes, he’s very versatile and more of a threat than anyone they have had in some time. I believe he’s a can’t-miss pick.”

Three-time Super Bowl champion and current NFL on Fox analyst Daryl “Moose” Johnston likes the move to take Elliott, even though they have 1,000-yard rusher Darren McFadden returning and the team added free agent Alfred Morris from Washington in free agency.

If you go by who is the best player on your board at that time and not worry about the depth or need at a position, it usually works out well for you.

Daryl Johnston former Cowboys fullback

“I go back to what the St. Louis Rams did a couple of years ago; they had a number of great defensive linemen there already and Aaron Donald sat there when their pick came up,” Johnston said. “The last thing the Rams needed was another defensive tackle, but they took him and now he’s the best player in that defensive front, so if you go by who is the best player on your board at that time and not worry about the depth or need at a position, it usually works out well for you. Obviously the Cowboys felt that Ezekiel Elliott was that guy.

“If the Cowboys can get back to playing the type of football they did in 2014; by that I mean, if your offense is on the field then your defense is on the sidelines so you can upgrade your defense by improving your offense. There are some people who think he is a really unique talent that you haven’t seen come out of the college ranks in a few years, so I am excited to see what he does for the Dallas Cowboys this year.”

Hall of Fame RB Emmitt Smith visits the 105.3 The Fan studios and talks about the Dallas Cowboys draft and Ezekiel Elliott (video by Mac Engel/Star-Telegram).

Kathryn Dunn

contributed to this report.

Dallas Cowboys schedule

Preseason

Saturday, Aug. 13 at Los Angeles Rams, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Friday, Aug. 19 vs. Miami, 7 p.m., (KTVT/11)

Thursday, Aug. 25 at Seattle, 9 p.m. (KTVT/11)

Thursday, Sept. 1 vs. Houston, 7 p.m. (KTVT/11)

Regular season

Sunday, Sept. 11 vs. New York Giants, 3:25 p.m. (KDFW/4)

Sunday, Sept. 18 at Washington, Noon, (KDFW/4)

Sunday, Sept. 25 vs. Chicago, 7:30 p.m. (KXAS/5)

Sunday, Oct. 2 at San Francisco, 3:25 p.m. (KDFW/4)

Sunday, Oct. 9 vs. Cincinnati, 3:25 p.m. (KTVT/11)

Sunday, Oct. 16 at Green Bay, 3:25 p.m. (KDFW/4)

Sunday, Oct. 23 Bye

Sunday, Oct. 30 vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. (KXAS/5)

Sunday, Nov. 6 at Cleveland, Noon, (KDFW/4)

Sunday, Nov. 13 at Pittsburgh, 3:25 p.m. (KDFW/4)

Sunday, Nov. 20 vs. Baltimore, Noon (KTVT/11)

Thursday, Nov. 24 vs. Washington, 3:30 p.m. (KDFW/4)

Thursday, Dec. 1 at Minnesota, 7:25 p.m. (KXAS/5, NFL Network and Twitter)

Sunday, Dec. 11 at New York Giants, 7:30 p.m. (KXAS/5)

Sunday, Dec. 18 vs. Tampa Bay, Noon, (KDFW/4)

Monday, Dec. 26 vs. Detroit, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Sunday, Jan. 1 at Philadelphia, Noon (KDFW/4)

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