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Mailbag: Could Zeke Return As A Fullback?


The West Coast offense is known to heavily use a fullback. Any chance the Cowboys re-sign Ezekiel Elliott as a fullback? He is a very good blocker and a better than average pass receiver. – Kerry Culberson/Emory, TX

Nick Eatman: I'm not sure where this one originated from, but I just don't see a scenario where Zeke returns in 2023 to the Cowboys. I also think there's a perception by fans sometimes that running backs who have fallen off a bit, can just play fullback. Just like older corners can move to safety or a slow-footed tackle can just play guard. In some cases, yes that happens, but it's still rare. And I don't think Zeke could just play the role as a fullback, not in the traditional sense. Blocking a blitzing linebacker or safety to prevent him from touching the quarterback is one thing. But paving the way as a lead blocker is another. And I don't think that's the type of extra wear-and-tear Zeke is looking to put on his body at this point in his career. I just don't see it as a good fit for either side. I know Jerry said he's not closing the door on Zeke, but I still don't expect him to be walking through it.

Kurt: Somewhat surprisingly, we've received this question a lot. Perhaps he's so beloved by fans that they're looking for any way possible to keep him around. But I don't think fullback is the answer. Elliott has been one of the best in the NFL at blocking in the passing game. He's shown no fear in taking on blitzing linebackers. But slamming into that line of scrimmage on a regular basis in the running game is a different beast. At 6-0, 226 pounds, Zeke has been a strong, physical runner, but consider that Cowboys great Daryl Johnston was 6-2, 238. The original West Coast fullback, Tom Rathman, was 6-1, 230. John Kuhn, a Pro Bowl fullback who played many years for Mike McCarthy in Green Bay was also 6-0, but he weighed 250! Given that Elliott's body already seems to be breaking down, I don't see how he handles the rigors of fullback. And if I'm a two-time rushing champ, and I'm now only getting, what, maybe 10 snaps a game, I don't think fullback is how I want to make a living. Especially if I feel I've got some gas left in the tank. So while Jerry Jones hasn't completely ruled out the Cowboys bringing Elliott back, in the unlikely event that they dol, I can't see it being as a fullback.

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