The Zeke’s Gonna Have to Make a Gourmet Meal With Whatever He Has podcast is hosted by two friends, Adam and Joe. They talk about sports and all things related to the world of sports.

Zeke’s Gonna Have to Make a Gourmet Meal With Whatever He Has is a short story in the anthology Somewhere Else, written by author John Darnielle.

Ezekiel Elliott’s performance for the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1 was obviously disappointing to fantasy football owners worldwide (well, unless you were playing against him). We all anticipate Elliott to come back and have a huge game in Week 2 or 3 given his past.

Marshall Faulk, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, is worried about Elliott. Indeed, he believes it would be a “tough year” for the Ohio State product unless he receives assistance from his quarterback, Dak Prescott, and the Cowboys’ talented wide outs.

The Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott had a terrible Week 1 performance.

No one can fault Ezekiel Elliott for his performance against the Buccaneers in Week 1 for the Cowboys. He only touched the ball 13 times against one of the greatest defensive lines in sports (11 carries and two catches). Elliott finished with 33 running yards and six receiving yards.

What’s more worrisome is that the game came after his worst season to date.

Elliott’s running yards (979), yards per game (65.3), and yards per attempt (4.0) were all career lows in 2020. Is he just beyond his peak at this point?

That isn’t always the case.

According to Faulk, he needs Dak Prescott’s weaponry and assistance.

Zeke may have a ‘tough year,’ according to Marshall Faulk.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott before a preseason game in 2021.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott before a preseason game in 2021. On Aug. 21, 2021, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott poses before a preseason game against the Houston Texans. | Getty Images/Tom Pennington

Marshall Faulk, a Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, recently spoke on The Rich Eisen Show, and he seemed worried about Elliott’s season.

“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers determined, ‘Ezekiel Elliott can defeat us, but we won’t allow him.’ ‘Dak, do you think you can defeat us?’ On the September 15 show, Faulk stated. Nobody is going to let Zeke run the ball until we see that great receiving core and Dak do his thing on a regular basis because they know that’s the Dallas Cowboys’ winning formula. They’re also not going to let them use the proper ingredients. They won’t allow this offensive line and Ezekiel Elliott win games for Dallas, so Zeke will have to create a gourmet feast with whatever he has.”

“It’s going to be a tough year for Ezekiel Elliott if the passing game can’t win games for Dallas,” Faulk added. … This league is much too quick and far too powerful. They’re not going to let him simply carry a squad around on his back. That is not the case. And here’s the thing: he’s not playing with some novice quarterback; the wide receivers aren’t that young.”

Faulk believes Elliott will have a “difficult year” until Prescott and the receivers can show that the Cowboys’ passing game can win them games.

Is he correct?

Will Ezekiel Elliott have a “difficult year” with the Cowboys this season?

In the sense that teams know Elliott can defeat them, Faulk makes a fair argument. In six of their eight victories in 2019, the most recent season Elliott and Prescott spent a full year together, Zeke had 18 or more carries. In games when he had 13 or fewer carries, Dallas went 1-3.

Elliott carried the ball 19 times or more in four of the Cowboys’ six victories in 2020, while Dallas went 0-6 when he carried it 14 times or less.

Obviously, there are many factors that go into winning or losing a football game, but opponents knew the Cowboys couldn’t defeat them throwing last season, so they packed the box and made it tough for Elliott to run. Elliott had the second-fewest carries of his career, with 2017 being the only year he had less, and he only appeared in 10 games.

The only flaw in Faulk’s thesis is that Prescott has shown that if given the opportunity, he can put together a solid defense. He passed for 4,902 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 11 picks in 2019. And until his injury, he was averaging over 370 yards each game in 2020. In Week 1 against the Bucs, the 2016 fourth-round selection threw for 403 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.

Prescott hasn’t been the Cowboys’ issue in recent years; rather, it’s been their defense. Dallas’ opponents often score a lot of points, which leads to more passing situations on offense and less touches for Zeke.

Overall, Faulk is correct: Elliott’s ability to run the ball is being thwarted by defenses. Prescott and the receivers should not bear all responsibility. The Cowboys’ defense is deserving of a lot of praise.

However, with a few improvements on that side of the ball this year (particularly at defensive coordinator), that team has a potential to be much better in 2021. We’ll have to wait till Dallas plays a club that doesn’t have a Buccaneers-style attack to see what type of season Elliott has.

Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.

RELATED: If the Cowboys are willing to start again, Robert Griffin III envisions a terrifying next home for Ezekiel Elliott.

Zeke’s Gonna Have to Make a Gourmet Meal With Whatever He Has is a story about a young boy who has to make a meal with what he has. Reference: water spider machine.

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