COLIN COWHERD: Ezekiel Elliot will play against the New York Giants. Now, we don't know if he's going to play weeks 2 through 8, but he's going to play week 1 against the New York Giants. I'll get into legal stuff later.
You can be really, really talented but you don't necessarily define a franchise. Let me give you some examples.
James Bond, that series had six different actors. And then they retire and move to different roles. And the James Bond series, profits would go up and up and up. Now, do I think James Bond was better with Sean Connery? Yeah. But I thought it was pretty good with Pierce Brosnan, too.
Saturday Night Live had Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy and Will Ferrell and Phil Hartman. And they all left. And it just had its highest ratings ever. Do I think it was better with Phil Hartman? Yes. But it was never defined by Phil Hartman. It was defined by the genius behind Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels.
Even at a company I work for, the Fox News Channel, lost two of its biggest stars in the last 12 months. Revenue profits are up. Why? Because the ideology is the star.
Ezekiel Elliott is not the star of the Cowboys. That offensive line is. I don't think he's the second star of the Dallas Cowboys. I think Dak Prescott is. I don't think he's the third star of the Dallas Cowboys. I think Jerry Jones is. I think Ezekiel Elliott's really talented. But like the James Bond series, Saturday Night Live, or Fox News Channel, it's often somebody you don't know, a culture or an ideology, that drives the bus.
This is why I strongly defended the Dallas Cowboys taking a running back with that fourth pick. I can remember the hate I got on social media. You're an idiot. You can't take a running back. And I said, there is no player in the National Football League that you could take with that fourth pick who will be guaranteed to have that kind of production due to that offensive line.
There was a time when the Dallas Cowboys were defined by a running back. And I always look at teams in threes. Jimmy Johnson, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, defined that great Cowboy team. Belichick, Brady, and versatility define the Patriots. Walsh, Montana, Jerry Rice, defined the great 49er dynasty. The Steelers, I would say it's Big Ben, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.
One of the reasons I sell the stock this year on the New York Giants, I think their big three is OBJ, Eli, and a defensive line. And if your star, your driving force is a receiver? I'm not buying you as a Super Bowl contender. I am buying you as a Super Bowl contender if you're Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, and the Legion of Boom. Head coach, quarterback, defense.
I am buying you as a Super Bowl contender if you're the Packers. Rodgers, Mike McCarthy, and Clay Matthews. Quarterback, head coach, and pass rusher.
I would argue that Dez Bryant. The Cowboys were 6-0 last year when he had a touchdown, nine games over 500 when he does. He is every bit as part of this offense, his big play ability on the outside, as Ezekiel Elliott. I think he's incredibly talented.
And yes, this is absolutely a distraction. And I prefer my NFL teams not to have a distraction. I thought Deflategate was a distraction. But in the end, just because you're really talented, doesn't mean you define a business. And I've never seen Zeke as anything more than super talented. Not a definer of the Cowboys team, on field product, or brand.