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Ezekiel Elliott has been great for the vast majority of the 2016 season, but Sunday marked the moment his MVP campaign kicked into full swing. Authentic Soccer Jerseys Ireland .Elliott scored three touchdowns in the Cowboys dramatic 35-30 win over the Steelers on Sunday, including two in the final two minutes of action. In addition to two rushing scores, he added in an 88-yard touchdown on a screen and finished the day with 209 yards from scrimmage. As many have pointed out, hes one of just three rookie backs to rush for 1,000 yards in his first nine professional games, joining Adrian Peterson and Eric Dickerson.And yet, as great as Elliott undoubtedly is, I keep going back to a number from ESPN Stats & Information. Do you know how many times Elliott was even touched by a Steelers player on his three touchdowns?Zero.Elliott traveled 129 yards from scrimmage on those three plays and never even had to beat an unblocked defender one-on-one. Zeke showed great patience in hitting his hole and accelerating past the flat-footed Robert Golden on his final score, and the Steelers might have been trying to allow Elliott to score on his second touchdown, but one would think Elliott would run into a Steelers defender just based on sheer electric football chance.Theres a third actor in this discussion, and its the reason Elliott went untouched on those plays. The Dallas Cowboys offensive line is as dominant as any unit or any individual player in football on a week-to-week basis. Despite losing Lael Collins to a foot injury, Dallas five-man gang of Tyron Smith, Ronald Leary, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin?and Doug Free has been the backbone of an offensive renaissance in Dallas. The Cowboys are averaging 28.7 points per game, the fourth-best rate in the league, while starting a rookie fourth-rounder at quarterback and missing their star wideout for a large portion of the season. The offensive line is making everybody on this offense look great. They, collectively, deserve serious consideration as league MVP.The question youre probably asking at the end of that paragraph is fair: Can an offensive line actually win the leagues most valuable player award as a crew? The answer isnt entirely clear. The idea was broached several years ago when the Giants had an offensive line which was worthy of similar consideration.Several entities actually hand out MVP awards, but the most familiar one is The Associated Press award, which is revealed as part of the NFL Honors ceremony in February. I asked several members of the electorate whether they would be allowed to vote for positional groups, and while none had in the past, theres apparently nothing in the rules against voting for an entity like the Cowboys offensive line over an individual player. Thats enough for us to consider the possibility.I hesitate to say that a group of offensive linemen will never win the MVP award -- after all, a kicker won the trophy in 1981 -- but the odds are stacked against any offensive lineman getting the credit he deserves, if only because the NFL is terrible at honoring linemen. This isnt a media issue, either. When NFL players voted for this years Top 100 Players list, they ended up including more running backs (10) than offensive linemen (seven) in a game in which teams routinely line up one back behind five linemen. The league pays lip service to the importance of the game in the trenches, but everything else has to go right for a lineman (or linemen) to even garner passing attention for a major award.This is that year. Theres no obvious MVP candidate: My favorites?heading into last week were?Tom Brady and Matt Ryan, both of whom had off nights during their respective teams Week 10 losses to Seattle and Philadelphia, respectively. J.J. Watt, the perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate, is out for the year, and theres no other transcendent defender sticking out from the pack. Julio Jones deserves consideration, but Elliott is now 75 rushing yards ahead of second-place back DeMarco Murray and 42 yards ahead of David Johnson in the yards from scrimmage race. Hes the most productive player on the leagues winningest team, with the Patriots loss ensuring that Dallas makes it to Week 11 as footballs sole club with eight wins.Elliott is playing his part in the symphony. Among backs with 100 yards or more, Elliott is ninth in the league in average yards before first contact (2.91) and then fourth in the league in yards after first contact (2.16). He has exhibited excellent patience in waiting for his holes to open and elite acceleration when they do clear; many young backs possess the latter, but precious few have the former, especially during their debut season.Hes also being provided with the sorts of running lanes backs dream about getting on a weekly basis, which is why the word untouched comes up a lot after he scores touchdowns. Still images can be misleading, but these are as in-context and fair as I could make them. Lets look at the holes Elliott hit for his two rushing touchdowns against Pittsburgh on Sunday. Heres the first one, which again may have been with the Steelers allowing Elliott to score in an attempt to get the ball back:Theres no safety lurking behind the pile of linemen there, just free room for Elliott to roam. Dak?Prescott checked into this play at the line of scrimmage, killing the pass play called and going instead with a run, and his linemen maul the Steelers. Frederick sustains his block on the nose tackle and pushes him yards to the right, creating the hole for Elliott. Both guards -- Leary and Martin -- get to the second level, with Leary disappearing for a moment before emerging from the void to pancake Ryan Shazier. Theres no hope for the Steelers on this play. There wasnt much of one on the next touchdown, either:Elliotts about to cut behind Smith and burst upfield, where the closest Steelers to him who arent on the ground are 2 yards away and either not moving or moving in the wrong direction. Lawrence Timmons tries to penetrate through the A-gap at the snap, only for Frederick to come out of his stance quickly and push him aside. Smith and Leary cave in the right side of the Steelers front, with Leary driving down nose tackle Javon Hargrave and Smith pancaking Shazier, eliminating the guys with any hope of tackling Elliott at the second level. Tight end Gavin Escobar seals off Jarvis Jones from the edge, and while the Steelers send cornerback Sean Davis on a run blitz out of the slot, he tries to run into the backfield and only turns upfield as Elliott is running by him. Elliotts acceleration comes in handy here -- a lesser back might have been caught from behind -- but the Cowboys basically give him a direct path to the end zone.Ive seen every Elliott run this season, but I went back and specifically watched his touchdowns to see whether this was a frequent pattern. It is. Untouched isnt the right word, and he has had a couple of short-yardage plunges, but the vast majority of the resistance against Elliott on his scores have come within steps of the end zone. Elliott has really had to make only two defenders miss otherwise on his scores, and they were both defensive backs in the Browns game, when Elliott chose to cut outside on running plays.Lets look at some more offensive line magic. Elliott had a 1-yard plunge for a score in the Niners game, but it was set up on the previous play, in which?he ran for 17 yards with a hole big enough to literally fit three Ezekiel Elliotts with room to spare:He scored twice in the Bengals game. Here, on Elliotts first touchdown of the day, the Cowboys fold him a nice little crease for a 13-yard score:The bigger one came later, when Elliott ran untouched for a 60-yard touchdown up the middle. This one is a little more difficult than the still image indicates, as Geno Atkins snuck past the guards and penetrated into the backfield, but Martin does enough to shield Atkins from Elliott, who makes a quick cut immediately after getting the ball to eliminate Atkins from the play. From there, Zeke has a Texas-sized expanse to enjoy:Elliott also shows off his wheels here by accelerating right past George Iloka, who sprints to the spot where he thinks Elliott will be, only to find that Elliott was there a half-second earlier. A replacement-level back -- or even a league-average back -- cant do that. And there are Elliott runs in which he does make people miss, of course. Here he is breaking a tackle in the hole?against the Packers for 29 yards.?For every run like that, though, theres seemingly one like his 23-yarder against the 49ers, in which Elliott patiently waits for Martin to clear out a parking spot before he sprints forward. Elliott deserves credit for setting up the block and selling that he wants to go outside before cutting upfield, of course, but theres a path being plowed for him along the way.Its not just what theyre doing with Elliott, either. The offensive line has done an incredible job in creating a comfortable space for its rookie fourth-round pick, Prescott, to operate. The track record of midround picks as rookies is abysmal, often because theyre forced to make decisions under pressure and usually choose poorly. Prescott hasnt had those problems. The Cowboys have allowed him to spend an average of 2.47 seconds in the pocket before making his throws, which is second in the league behind Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo. Prescotts average throw has come after 2.73 seconds, which is the fourth-longest rate. And while passers around him in those rankings such as Taylor, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck?and Cody Kessler all have sack rates at or well above the league average of 5.6 percent, Prescott is going down on just 4.3 percent of his dropbacks.Dallas previously unheralded rookie signal-caller has been great without having Dez Bryant, his best wide receiver, for a good chunk of the season. Again, as is the case with Elliott, Prescott deserves some of the credit. The Cowboys had mostly the same offensive line last year and werent able to throw the ball with Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden under center for most of the year, even given how well they pass-protected. At the same time, though, this unit made Darren McFadden look like a great back in 2015, as the former Raider averaged 4.6 yards per carry after mustering just 3.3 yards per attempt in his three previous seasons in Oakland. And they were the focal point of Murrays breakout season in 2014, helping pave the way for him and Tony Romo to enjoy a 12-4 campaign.Murray has been resurgent this year, which actually adds to the aura of what Dallas did in 2014. Murray looked like a monster in Texas and promptly fell to replacement level last year in Philadelphia, as a change in scheme and a far inferior offensive line took their toll during his lone season with the Eagles. Traded to Tennessee, Murray has refound his form behind another great offensive line built around first-round picks. Chance Warmack hasnt really panned out and is on injured reserve, but the Titans found a pair of stars at tackle with top-11 picks Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin before making an underrated addition in free agency with Houston center Ben Jones. Lewan was ejected from Sundays blowout win over the Packers, but this unit has done an incredible job all year of creating holes for Murray and protecting Marcus Mariota, who is looking like a franchise quarterback again.And theyre not the only ones being defined by the guys up front. Look at the most surprising team in the NFL outside of these Cowboys: The 7-2 Raiders focused their rebuild around the offensive line, choosing to spend gobs of money in free agency in lieu of draft picks. Detroit, now in first place in the NFC North, has three first-rounders and four third-rounders, all on rookie deals, in their offensive line rotation.There are also clear examples of how line play has had a negative impact: The Vikings have gone from 5-0 to 5-4 once their defense stopped forcing takeaways and their offensive line collapsed under injuries and subpar play. Minnesota has been unable to run the ball all year, and over the past four games, Sam Bradford?has been sacked on a league-high 9.2 percent of his dropbacks, including two of the final three offensive snaps in Sundays loss to Washington. If there was ever one, this would be the Year of the Offensive Line.Its tough to talk about this topic in relation to Elliott (and to a lesser extent, Prescott) because its perceived as a slight. Its too easy to make this a binary argument, in which Elliott is either a fraud who is entirely a product of his offensive line or a running genius who would excel behind a blocking sled. Neither argument is fair to any of the parties involved.Its more nuanced. Elliott is not Walt Weiss or Nick Hundley during their days with the Colorado Rockies, taking advantage of the thin air to look like a professional hitter. Hes Larry Walker or Nolan Arenado, a genuine talent placed in the best possible situation for a player to look great.Elliott would be good -- and potentially great -- in other places, although the Murray example in Philadelphia gives us reason to wonder whether any back at all is situation- or line-proof. That alone is an argument against picking a running back to win league MVP. As good as a back like Murray or Elliott can look, we know that theyre too dependent upon scheme and surrounding talent to be the most valuable player in the league. In Dallas, were quickly seeing that the offensive line can do wonders regardless of who takes the football behind it.Frederick and the Dallas O-line arent scheme-dependent. They are the scheme. Cheap Nike Soccer Jerseys Ireland .Y. -- Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone has drawn on his Syracuse connections once again by hiring Rob Moore to take over as receivers coach. Stitched Soccer Jerseys Ireland . "It was nerve-wracking, but we pulled through," said Collaros, who threw four touchdown passes to lead the Toronto Argonauts (8-4) to a 33-27 win over the Calgary Stampeders (9-3) in front of 28,781 fans at McMahon Stadium. . - After leading the Saints to a fourth playoff appearance in five seasons, Drew Brees expressed confidence in the direction of his team and, perhaps more importantly, showed a willingness to listen to contract proposals if the team needs his help getting under the NFLs salary cap. ST. LOUIS -- Hyun-Jin Ryu has been pitching more like a savvy veteran then a rookie this season. Ryu pitched seven stellar innings and got help from a three-run homer by A.J. Ellis as the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 Thursday night. The Dodgers have won 17 of their last 18 games on the road, with the only loss coming Tuesday to St. Louis in the second game of the four-game set. Los Angeles returns home for a six-game home stand against Tampa and the New York Mets. Although he is in his first year with the Dodgers, Ryu pitched professionally in Korea for seven years before coming to Los Angeles, and it shows, according to Ellis. "This guy knows how to pitch so well," Ellis said. "He pitches to the scoreboard as well as anyone Ive caught. He knew he had a great lineup across the way that we had to face, and from the get-go, he was really locked in." Ryu (11-3) allowed one unearned run on five hits while striking out seven and walking no one. He increased his winning percentage to .786, which is the highest winning percentage for a rookie in Dodgers history. He shut down the Cardinals without his best fastball. "Most of my pitches were on point today," Ryu said through an interpreter. "The only concern I had was that my fastball, the velocity was not as high as I hoped it would be. Thanks to my other pitches, I was able to get out of the innings." Fellow Los Angeles rookie Yasiel Puig had three hits to raise his batting average to .377. Adrian Gonzalez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Jerry Hairston had a pinch-hit RBI single. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was thrilled to take three of four from the Cardinals. "This is a good club over there," Mattingly said. "Just like us, they feel like they got to win every day. We feel like we have to do the same. To get three out of fouur from them makes you feel good. Clearance Soccer Jerseys Ireland. ." Los Angeles spoiled the first Major League start for St. Louis rookie Carlos Martinez (0-1), who was called up from Triple-A Memphis earlier in the day to make the start. Martinez lasted just 4 2-3 innings before leaving with cramps. He allowed all four runs on seven hits and three walks. "I thought overall he did a pretty nice job," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny. "His stuffs electric; theres no question about that." Matt Holliday had two hits and scored the Cardinals only run. St. Louis fell four games back of Pittsburgh in the National League Central race. With the Dodgers leading 1-0, Holliday singled with two outs to keep the fourth inning alive. David Freese followed with a single to centre, and when Andre Ethiers throw into the infield hit the second base bag and got away, Holliday came home to even the score. Gonzalez walked with one out in the fifth and Puig followed with a single. Puig was erased by Ethiers fielders choice, but Ellis then drove Martinezs pitch into the Dodgers bullpen in left field to make it 4-1. "It was just one of those things, where youre trying to put a nice swing on something and drive a run in," Ellis said. "In that situation, sometimes youre rewarded with a little more than youre looking for." Notes: Cardinals rookie pitcher Shelby Miller, who left Wednesday nights game after two pitches when he was struck on the pitching elbow by a Carl Crawford line drive, said before the game he is ready to go. "I dont think Im going to miss a beat," Miller said. "Its less sore than if I threw 100 pitches." ... The Dodgers won the season series between the teams by a 4-3 count and now lead the all-time series between the teams 1,012-1,009. ... Martinez is the fifth rookie to make a start for St. Louis this season. Wholesale China Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Nike NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Nike Basketball Jerseys Hockey Jerseys China Supply Baseball Jerseys Football Jerseys Sale Authentic College Jerseys MLB Jerseys China Stitched Soccer Jerseys Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap Nike Jerseys ' ' ' 

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