The Dallas Cowboys are NFC East champions and have absolutely nothing to gain against the New York Giants in Week 17, so conventional wisdom would suggest they play their starters a minimal number of reps or not at all.
However, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t buy into that line of thinking and says taking a week off against the Giants is an absolute non-option.
“We can’t afford to take a week off,” Elliott told the Dallas News. “That’s not even an option.
“We can’t get comfortable. We can’t afford to take a week off next week. We’ve got to keep working and make sure we’re ready for the playoffs.”
Although many in Dallas may disagree with Elliott, he’s not actually wrong. The Cowboys were a disaster for the better part of this season and have eased their way into the playoff strictly because the remainder of the NFC East was also a disaster this season.
The Cowboys have been less than impressive even during a more successful second half of the season, so the last thing they can afford to do is take their foot off the gas pedal and then expect to find success in the opening round of the playoffs.
In fact, Dallas should take a page out of the Giants’ playbook and use each of their starters on Sunday in an effort to create some momentum similarly to what Big Blue did in 2007 when they went all-out against the then undefeated New England Patriots, who they eventually topped in the Super Bowl.