Ezekiel Elliott: 'It would be an honor' to run behind Cowboys' O-line

You can make a case that the Cowboys have the NFL's best offensive line. It was easy to miss last year, because without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, that unit was wasted on the likes of Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel -- though it did manage to help Darren McFadden break 1,000 rushing yards for just the second time in his eight NFL seasons.

And perhaps that accomplishment, which has gotten lost in the mix of a forgettable 4-12 season, is what intrigues former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, who admitted Wednesday that he's love to play in Dallas.

"It would be an honor for any running back to go run behind them," Elliott said from the 2016 NFL Draft in Chicago, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I’m sure every running back in this draft is licking their chops for the opportunity to play behind that line. The commitment to the run and just all the all the veterans, all the superstars around you, is appealing. You’ve got some vets around you that you can learn a lot from.

"You can learn a lot from Romo. You can learn a lot from Jason Witten. You can learn a lot from Dez. I think it would be a good situation for me. I could go in there and I can learn and I can develop."

The Cowboys have the No. 4 pick, and while Elliott is considered the top back in the draft, he's not expected to go that high. Then again, maybe he's heard about other, less desirable landing spots, and is hoping a little pre-draft stumping might convince the Cowboys to reconsider.

As it stands, the two most popular mock-draft landing spots are the Browns, who pick 8th, and the Dolphins, who pick 13th. Both teams are in desperate need of a quality running back, and both teams are generally considered a mess. The good news -- in theory, anyway -- is that both teams also have new coaching staffs, and the Browns have a revamped, analytics-driven front office.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys have other needs, though Elliott makes the case that he's much more than a runner.

"I’m a versatile back," Elliott said. "I’m a guy who in college I worked on my game to try to fill all the holes, to try to fill all the weaknesses, so when I approach this opportunity so teams couldn’t dissect my game and say, ‘This is what you need to work.’ I focused on becoming great at everything.

"I focused on becoming the best blocking running back in college football. I think I run the ball well inside and outside. I think I have good hands out of the backfield. So I think I’m a guy who can come in and be used in many different ways."

According to the final CBSSports.com mock drafts, the Cowboys are expected to take either defensive end Joey Bosa or Florida St. cornerback Jalen Ramsey with the No. 4 pick, and Elliott will either go to the Browns, Bears (who pick No. 11) or Dolphins.

Oh, by the way: Back in February, Elliott first mentioned that he would love to play for the Cowboys, but he also said he'd happily suit up for the Bears.

Would the Cowboys draft Ezekiel Elliott? (USATSI)
Would the Cowboys draft Ezekiel Elliott? (USATSI)

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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