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Mailbag: Effects Of Playing At Altitude? Concern About Zeke's Durability?

Denver media is calling the high altitude "a real problem" for the Cowboys. I understand the challenges that are associated with altitude, but these are professional athletes with oxygen on the sidelines. Should there be "a real" cause for concern here? Thanks! Go Cowboys!

Bryan:I think it's more of a problem if you don't run, block and tackle. If you want a the real problem it's the Denver Broncos roster. That's a good football team and whether you play them at altitude or below sea level they're a problem. 

David:I'm sure it's going to affect the Cowboys a little bit, but it's not going to determine the outcome of this game. These are professional athletes, and they've been preparing for this environment. The Broncos have lost two home games in each of the last two seasons, so it's not as if the altitude makes them unbeatable.

The hallmark of Zeke's power running style always seems to grind out extra yards after the first several hits. But there are also times where he takes a Dez-like, I-won't-be-denied-an-inch style that terrifies us fans. It seems like it makes him susceptible to injury. Do you think the coaches address this with him, or is that life in the NFL when you're a speed and power back and you love contact, a la Sweetness?

Bryan:I understand what you're asking, but you have to just let him play. Worrying about injury will just make you sick. He knows how to protect himself and his body type helps him survive those extra hits. By the end of the game, defenders don't want to tackle him, either. 

David:I have never once watched Ezekiel Elliott run with concern that he might get injured, to be honest. His strength and his power are uncommon, even at the NFL level, and I've never gotten the feeling that he was a fragile guy. Obviously, injuries can happen on any play, but Zeke's durability has always been impressive. I think you just let him do his thing.


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