Cow­boys can’t make play­offs with­out Zeke?

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - SPORTS - BY ROB MAADDI

No Zeke means no play­offs for the Dal­las Cow­boys.

With­out Ezekiel El­liott, who be­gan serv­ing a six-game sus­pen­sion for al­le­ga­tions of do­mes­tic abuse, the Cow­boys (5-4) couldn’t do any­thing on of­fence in a 27-7 loss to the At­lanta Fal­cons on Sun­day.

El­liott had four 100-yard games and seven touch­downs rush­ing in eight games, and the Cow­boys av­er­aged 28.3 points with him in the lineup. Now, they’re fin­ished.

Ex­cept the prob­lem wasn’t the run game.

Al­fred Mor­ris had 53 yards rush­ing on 11 car­ries against At­lanta while Dak Prescott scram­bled for 42. The is­sue was pro­tect­ing Prescott in the pocket. Adrian Clay­born sacked him six times and forced two fum­bles.

The player the Cow­boys need more than El­liott is four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Ty­ron Smith.

If Smith re­turns, Dal­las has

enough of­fence to make a run at the play­offs.

Here are more over­re­ac­tions fol­low­ing Week 10:

OVERREACTION: The Browns (0-9) are mak­ing

progress. They had a 10-point lead for the first time this sea­son in a 38-24 loss at Detroit.

RE­AL­IS­TIC RE­AC­TION: Might be the worst team ever. OVERREACTION: Richard

Sher­man’s in­jury will con­vince the NFL to elim­i­nate Thurs­day games.

RE­AL­IS­TIC RE­AC­TION: Money talks. Tele­vi­sion con­tracts bring in a lot of rev­enue and a Thurs­day night game is at­trac­tive.

OVERREACTION: The Saints (7-2) are un­stop­pable now that they have a po­tent rush­ing at­tack — six rush­ing TDS — to com­ple­ment Drew Brees.

RE­AL­IS­TIC RE­AC­TION: Buf­falo’s de­fence also al­lowed 194 yards on the ground and three TDS against the Jets in their pre­vi­ous game.

OVERREACTION: Jared Goff is the NFL’S MVP.

RE­AL­IS­TIC RE­AC­TION: Goff will be there at the end, es­pe­cially if the Rams (7-2) earn the No. 1 seed, but right now the 2016 No. 1 overall pick is be­hind the guy picked after him: Car­son Wentz.

OVERREACTION: The Fal­cons (5-4) are back.

RE­AL­IS­TIC RE­AC­TION: It was a must-win against the Cow­boys and they got it. But their sched­ule is tough. Five of the fi­nal seven games are against teams cur­rently 6-3 or 7-2.

OVERREACTION: The 49ers are the best 1-9 in NFL his­tory.

RE­AL­IS­TIC RE­AC­TION: If true — how do you even de­ter­mine it? — they’re still 1-9.

OVERREACTION: Adam Thie­len is the best un­drafted re­ceiver in the NFL.

RE­AL­IS­TIC RE­AC­TION: Doug Bald­win wasn’t drafted ei­ther. He’s been real good for a few years.

OVERREACTION: Blake Bor­tles will cost the Jaguars (6-3) a play­off berth.

RE­AL­IS­TIC RE­AC­TION: Jack­sonville’s de­fence is dom­i­nant enough to over­come Bor­tles’ de­fi­cien­cies. Plus they have Leonard Four­nette.

OVERREACTION: Brock Osweiler isn’t the an­swer for the Bron­cos (3-6).

RE­AL­IS­TIC RE­AC­TION: Osweiler isn’t the rea­son Den­ver has sur­ren­dered 92 points in the last two games. De­fence is the prob­lem and spe­cial teams were aw­ful against the Pa­tri­ots.

Ap Photo

In this Nov. 5 photo, Dal­las Cow­boys run­ning back Ezekiel El­liott (left) car­ries the ball after tak­ing a hand off from quar­ter­back Dak Prescott dur­ing an NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Ar­ling­ton, Texas.

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