Ezekiel Elliott has to realize that the cameras are on him.
It took a dismal 4-12 season for Dallas to be in the dubious position to draft the multi-faceted back out of Ohio State with the No. 4 overall pick. And with Tony Romo breaking his back early in Thursday night's third preseason game, Elliot’s load for the upcoming 2016 season just increased.
The highly-touted, pigskin-pusher's debut was solid. He had seven carries for 48 yards in a 27-17 loss to the Seahawks, but the Dallas-style drama came before the game, when TMZ released video reportedly of Elliot at a marijuana dispensary in Washington.
(Photo Credit: TMZ.com)
Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones was not cool with what he saw on TMZ. In the video, a man the website reported to be Elliott was seen in Herban Legends in Seattle, but he was not shown making any purchases.
"Well, I think that in and of itself the reason we are talking about this in a way is part of the learning process," Jones said. "But it's not good. It's just not good. It's just not good."
The Cowboys have been the model of underachieving, over-hyping, bad decisions and superstars with questionable conduct. Is this story really any surprise? It fits right in with the circus that has been the Dallas Cowboys for some time now.
Most former players feel that it all comes down to a lack of leadership.
“That’s one thing that’s missing in our league these days," said former NFL All-Pro fullback turned analyst, Tony Richardson, on #SINOW. “Having that one-on-one peer mentorship. When I first started playing I walked into the Cowboys locker room, Emmitt Smith was my mentor and if he sensed anything going on off the field that he definitely didn't like he would mention it to me and that’s something I would do with Elliott.”
ESPN analyst Merril Hodge, a former NFL running back, took it a step further, calling Elliott's move a "bonehead" decision and an example of what a player doesn't do before a game. .."You get caught there, versus studying your playbook before a game? " Hodge asked in bewilderment.
Marijuana remains a banned substance in the NFL, though its recreational use is legal in the state of Washington. Not that this incident is the end of the world, because it is widespread knowledge that NFL players smoke weed for a variety of reasons, including pain control. Elliott, however, has not played a down in the NFL and he is already gushing red fountains of caution.
(Photo Credit: BSO)
Cowboy fans have got to be questioning this pick. In addition to this latest incident, which if nothing else is embarrassing for Elliott and the Cowboys, Elliott is under investigation by the Columbus, Ohio, attorney's office for an alleged domestic violence incident involving a former girlfriend. Elliott has denied the allegations, but he has yet to be interviewed.
Looks like there’s going to be some proper soap opera moments in Texas this season.