Morris rushed 11 times for 53 yards in Sunday's 27-7 loss to the Falcons.
The six-year veteran was the clear lead back with Ezekiel Elliott starting his six-game suspension. Morris saw six of seven RB carries in the first half and five of eight in the second. Rod Smith saw three carries and all six targets in the passing game, while Darren McFadden wasn't a factor, carrying the ball only once. Morris broke a couple of long runs in the contest and should still be the Cowboys' lead ball carrier heading into Week 11 against the Eagles.
Morris is on pace to start for Ezekiel Elliott (suspension) during Sunday's game in Atlanta, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
With the legal system taking a firm stance on Elliott's six-game suspension this week, the Cowboys will turn to their depth to construct a viable ground game. Morris will be given the first shot out of the backfield, but Rapoport also considers Rod Smith a "wild card." On Friday, head coach Jason Garrett mentioned the team hasn't had definitive conversations about how the snaps will be divvied up among Morris, Smith and Darren McFadden, the latter of which has been a regular inactive this season. As for Morris, he's been the second-most utilized RB behind Elliott in 2017, turning 14 carries into 116 yards and one reception (on two targets) into nine yards.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Friday that he hasn't had specific conversations about how the team will divide work between Morris, McFadden and Rod Smith in Sunday's game against the Falcons, David Helman of the Cowboys' official site reports.
Morris is expected to get the start and have the first crack at the lead job, but Garrett's comments suggest that Smith and/or McFadden also will get some opportunities. Given his lack of receiving skill, Morris figures to cede passing down work, in addition to some of the carries. The situation may need to be re-evaluated on a weekly basis until Ezekiel Elliott returns from suspension in December. The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set a Dec. 1 hearing date for Elliott's expedited appeal.
Morris is expected to start in place of Ezekiel Elliott on Sunday in Atlanta after Elliott's six-game suspension was reinstated Thursday, Jane Slater of NFL Network reports.
Elliott is closing in on his last resorts, legal-wise, meaning the Cowboys will have to rely on their backfield depth to fuel the ground game through Week 15. Morris will be given the first shot to do so, but running back coach Gary Brown said both Rod Smith and Darren McFadden will get in the act as well. On the season, Morris is averaging 8.3 YPC on his 14 rushes, though that mark is aided by a 70-yard carry the running back logged against the Rams in Week 4.
Morris gained 11 yards on his only carry in Sunday's win over the Chiefs.
Ezekiel Elliott, as per usual, got the bulk of the work out of the Cowboys backfield, but he could finally be forced to serve his suspension beginning in Week 10 if he doesn't get a favorable court ruling Thursday. In that case, Morris would be poised for a much more significant role Sunday in Atlanta, although Darren McFadden and Rod Smith would also be in the mix for touches.
|14||12/10/17||@ NYG||4:25 pm|
|15||12/17/17||@ OAK||8:30 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ PHI||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|