Smith carried 12 times for 36 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 36-35 win over the Giants. He also caught two passes for an additional 14 yards. Smith started in place of the resting Ezekiel Elliott, finishing with double-digit carries for the second time in his NFL career. He averaged just 2.9 yards per carry, but he was able to salvage his day from a fantasy perspective with a one-yard touchdown plunge in the fourth quarter. With Elliott rested and ready to handle a heavy workload, Smith should play a minimal role during the team's wild-card game next weekend.
Smith will start at running back for Ezekiel Elliott (coach's decision) on Sunday at the Giants, David Helman of the Cowboys' official site reports. With Elliott dominating the backfield, per usual, in 2018, Smith has earned the occasional touch en route to 32 rushes for 92 yards and seven catches (on nine targets) for 46 yards. Smith does have one career start under his belt -- Week 11 against the Eagles last season -- but managed just eight carries for 11 yards.
Smith and Darius Jackson are expected to split reps out of the Dallas backfield Sunday against the Giants with the Cowboys planning to rest Ezekiel Elliott, team sources tell Jane Slater of NFL Network. Since he's not dealing with an injury, it's unclear if Elliott will be inactive for the contest, but even if he dresses, the star running back would likely only see spot duty or serve as an insurance option behind Smith and Jackson. Locked in as the NFC's No. 4 seed in the playoffs regardless of how Sunday's action plays out, the Cowboys have little to gain by exposing Elliott, so Smith and Jackson should both be in line for their heaviest snap counts to date. Elliott's status as a three-down workhorse has limited Smith to just 39 touches (32 carries, seven receptions) through 15 games, with Smith mustering only 2.9 yards per tote.
Smith lost seven yards on two carries during Sunday's 27-20 win over Tampa Bay. It was the worst showing in what has been a mediocre statistical season for Smith, who has reached double-digit yardage just five times all season. A measly 2.9 yards per carry mark coupled with only seven receptions in 15 games hasn't helped Smith's cause, but the bigger stumbling block for him has been the fact that No. 1 back Ezekiel Elliott hasn't missed a game while handling sizable workloads each week. The Cowboys have little at stake in the regular-season finale against the Giants -- they'll be the NFC's No. 4 seed no matter what -- so it's possible that Smith gets his most work to date if Elliott and the team's other starters are pulled early in the contest.
Smith ran for 27 yards on four carries and added 16 yards on two catches during Sunday's 29-23 win over the Eagles. The 43 total yards nearly doubled Smith's previous high for the season as Dallas piled up yardage on a weak Philly defense, particularly through the air as Dak Prescott set a career high with 455 passing yards. Between the offensive productivity and the game going into overtime, Smith topped five touches for just the second time this season. Given Ezekiel Elliott's (neck) stranglehold on carries in Dallas, accounting for a whopping 72 percent of them, Smith doesn't have much room to work. If the team decides to rest its star back a little down the stretch, Smith would have a so-so matchup Sunday against a middle-of-the-road Colts run defense, but don't expect a big limitation for Zeke until Dallas clinches a playoff berth and can't improve it.
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