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Mailbag: Rookie(s) Of The Year? Offensive Line's Impact On Elliott?

Dak and Zeke are both worthy of Offensive Rookie of the YEar honors (if not MVP consideration); which do you choose right now for OROY? Also, does Anthony Brown's solid performance get any DROY buzz?

 Rob: That's a great question and a tough one. What Prescott has done at the game's toughest position, leading the huddle in place of a 10-year starter, is incredible. I'd say Elliott, though. Not only does he lead the league in rushing, not only is the NFL rookie rushing record within reach after six games, the run game has been the engine for this offense. Not sure about award buzz for Anthony Brown, but I'll say this: he hasn't hurt the defense while Orlando Scandrick has been out. Done a nice job for a rookie who hasn't played the slot.

David:End-of-season awards are usually about stats, so that's the top priority here. Dak Prescott is this team's MVP, in my eyes, but I'm just not sure he's going to put together the resume to beat the likes of Tom Brady in the MVP race. Meanwhile, Zeke has to be considered the runaway Rookie of the Year favorite so far. It's entirely possible he reaches 2,000 yards while serving as the focal point of this offense. Anthony Brown has been fantastic, but cornerbacks need to get picks to win awards.

So with the success of the run game this season, what does this mean for the argument that the running back doesn't matter behind this offensive line? McFadden had a great year but Zeke has taken the run game to a whole new level.

Rob: I never agreed with that line of thinking because in a way, that's kind of disrespecting what Emmitt Smith did in the '90s behind the best offensive line in football. The great backs are durable, can finish runs, can take a 10-yard gain and turn it into 20 yards. Elliott has carried a heavy workload so far and has shown he can pretty much do it all: short yardage, where the Cowboys struggled last year, as well as break big runs.

David:There's something to be said for the talent on this offensive line. As you mentioned, it turned Darren McFadden into an 1,100-yard rusher last year. I honestly think Alfred Morris would be having a strong season if he was this team's top running back. But to say it doesn't matter at all is an insult to everything Zeke brings to the table – as a runner, receiver and blocker. This offense would still be good with a lesser back, but you're right that Zeke puts it on another level. It's a perfect storm, which is what we said back in April when Zeke was drafted. He's the best running back in his draft class, but this offensive line helps make him truly special.


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