Smith’s game has truly improved in the past several weeks, and the best example of that improvement is a match played on Sunday in which Cowboys devastated the New York Giants with the score 30-10, and in that duel, Smith had 160 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns which makes it his career best. This also proves that this guy is a viable NFL running back who can be as useful to the team nearly as much as Ezekiel Elliott, who is only one game away from returning from his suspension.
Everyone knows that Elliott is Cowboys’ No.1 guy and a true workhorse who isn’t making excuses and he runs full tilt. To prove that, Elliott just last season made 70 carries which is a number that no other Cowboys‘ running back managed to come even close to. When this man is on the field, it is noticeable that opponents are struggling and with all right because he is, arguably, the best player in football at his position. The only thing that is a little worrisome is the fact that the team might have trouble in the long term since it is familiar that running backs have a notoriously short “shelf life.”
This is backed up by the fact that Elliott missed 5 games over his suspension (has just one more left), and the squad felt it. He probably wouldn’t make a lot of difference in those three consecutive blowout losses anyways, but it would probably be a little less embarrassing. Plus you also have to have a plan to keep your key running back well rested and fresh for when you really need him, and that is where Smith just recently emerged as a crucial part of that plan. This man proved that he is very effective especially with an average of 7.8 yards per attempt against the Giants, and he was at 4.5 before that duel. Since the Cowboys built their playstyle around the running game, it’s very important to have a reserve running back who knows his stuff and can deliver when needed.
Smith, as it turned out, is one of those players, with five passes caught for 113 yards, including an 81-yard pass that he took all the way to the end line. But that is not all, he has also turned out to be a pretty decent blocker. Smith managed to keep Dak Prescott upright during passing plays where he didn’t have to catch himself. Thanks to these two skills Smith is a more than a good replacement for Elliott, who actually isn’t that good as a receiving back. Yes, he can do it but it is simply not the ideal situation for him, and it will never be. That is why the passing downs are the best time to rest Elliott and put Smith in who can make the most of those plays.
The only thing we hope for is, when Elliott returns, we will see at least 20 carries against Seattle Seahawks, that much should be a sure thing. As for Smith, this guy managed to find his place in Zeke’s position which Cowboys haven’t been comfortable filling with anyone else but their star running back, until now that is. With both Elliott and Smith, Cowboys can now “relax” a bit and utilize everything these two guys can offer in every future game.