Ezekiel Elliott suspension delay could burn Cowboys at worst possible time

The Cowboys got through the first seven games of the 2017 season without Ezekiel Elliott serving any of his NFL-imposed suspension. But after the running back played in Dallas’ Week 8 win over Washington, the team might regret the timing if his six-game ban goes into effect.

In this case in particular, it’s easier to survive a near half-season suspension earlier in the year rather than later. Elliott is an indispensable asset for the Cowboys, but he will be even more critical for them in November and December, when weather becomes more of a factor in their status as road warriors.

The Eagles — not the Cowboys, Giants or Redskins — have emerged as the team to beat in the NFC East. Elliott is now in line to miss one game each against Philadelphia, New York and Washington. The other three games in the six-week stretch beginning in Week 9 include the mighty Chiefs (5-2), the dangerous Falcons (3-3) and the rising Chargers (3-4).

So we’ve had to bump our top defensive player, Alabama star Minkah Fitzpatrick, to make room for the Irish standout. Not only does our Heisman field have a very heavy running back vibe, it also has a very strong Northeast feel to it, with two of the candidates hailing from Pennsylvania (Barkley and Adams) and a third, Jonathan Taylor, being from New Jersey.

The selection committee consists of 13 people. They are: former Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, former Southern Miss coach Jeff Bower, former Central Michigan coach Herb Deromedi, Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt (chair), Robert Morris University president Chris Howard, former NCAA executive Cheap Denver Broncos Jerseys Tom Jernstedt, former Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson, Arkansas AD Jeff Long, Oregon Cheap Hockey Jerseys Custom AD Rob Mullens, Clemson AD Dan Radakovich, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, retired sports reporter Steve Wieberg and former coach Tyrone Willingham.