DeShone Kizer has undeniable talent, but some inconsistencies in his college game suggested he shouldn’t be a day one starter in the NFL. The Browns rejected that idea, and Kizer earned the starting job in Cleveland. Head coach Hue Jackson benched Kizer in favor of Kevin Hogan at halftime in Week 5, and Hogan will take over the starting role this week, Jackson said Wednesday.
This isn’t a What We Learned from this week, because the Cowboys were off, but I have spoken with people close to the situation about what the Cowboys would do at running back if they had to play without Ezekiel Elliott for a long period of time. And with Elliott apparently re-suspended for the next six games, it’s worth mentioning.
People were surprised that Dallas went with Alfred Morris and not Darren McFadden as the backup to Elliott out of the gate in Week 1. Part of that was because Morris had an especially strong camp, but according to the coaches with whom I’ve spoken, the main reason was game plan-driven. They’d installed a game plan thinking they’d have Elliott, and that game plan is designed for one back to get the bulk of the carries. They believed Morris was better equipped to operate that game plan if something were to happen to Elliott during the game, so he was active and McFadden was not.
They do like McFadden better than Morris in some areas, however, including the passing game. So if they know they’re going to be without Elliott, expect a change in the way the Cowboys’ offensive coaches make a game plan and a lean toward a system in which Morris and McFadden (and maybe Rod Smith) split duties and carries in some way. That’s what I’ve been told to expect by folks in the know there, which is unfortunate for fantasy players who might have been hoping that Morris or McFadden would simply slide into Elliott’s spot and get his workload. Sorry to be the bearer of bad fantasy tidings.