There appears to be an internal battle going on in the war room of the Dallas Cowboys surrounding Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott.
According to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the lobby for Elliott inside the Cowboys draft room is “gaining steam,” with the Ohio State running back one of the few favorites to be the pick for Dallas at No. 4 overall.
Report from Valley Ranch: w/ little more than one hour before draft is underway, lobby for Ezekiel Elliott appears to be gaining steam.
— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) April 28, 2016
The consensus top running back in the class, Elliott is expected to come off the board within the first 12-15 picks. The Cowboys are his best shot to go inside the top five, while several teams after—including the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins—could pull the trigger if Dallas ends up passing.
The Cowboys would likely go with Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey or Ohio State edge rusher Joey Bosa if Elliott isn’t the pick.
A top-end defensive player probably makes the most sense in Dallas, but it will be difficult for the Cowboys to pass on a rushing talent like Elliott.
At Ohio State, Elliott rushed for almost 4,000 yards and 43 touchdowns, while also catching 58 passes. He broke 1,800 rushing yards in back-to-back years to finish his decorated collegiate career with the Buckeyes.
Plugging in Elliott behind the Cowboys’ dominant offensive line could create a rushing machine capable of reaching the levels DeMarco Murray once hit as a rushing champion in 2014. Dallas won 12 games and hosted a playoff game during Murray’s 1,845-yard season.
The Cowboys will be in a favorable position once the fourth pick comes up. It’s possible—if not likely—that Elliott, Ramsey and Bosa will all be on the board. Can Jerry Jones resist taking Ohio State’s do-it-all running back?