Emmitt Smith to Zeke: Stop hurdling defenders

There isn't a lot about Ezekiel Elliott's game with which to complain. The Dallas Cowboys' running back has the size, speed, power combination of a three-down workhorse, his blocking is impeccable and he can be dynamic in the passing game.

A few Hall of Fame Cowboys running backs have one nit to pick with Zeke: He hurdles too much.

"He better stop that. He better stop that. He better stop that," Tony Dorsett said over the weekend at an anniversary celebration of the Cowboys 1992 Super Bowl team. "That's one thing that I don't like. When you get airborne, you're at the mercy of the hit, and sometimes you can't protect yourself. I think as he gets older he may take that out of his repertoire. He needs to stop that. That scares me every time he gets airborne. I'm like oh ..."

Dorsett wasn't the only running back requesting Zeke remain grounded. Emmitt Smith made a similar appeal.

"Get on the ground as quickly as possible," Smith said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Every time I watch somebody run, I'm looking very closely, very tentatively, seeing how they fall because a lot of things happen when you fall."

TV stations would be saddened if Zeke stopped hurdling. Footage of Elliot winning the high school hurdle championship is a favorite of broadcast networks. Splicing those hurdles with professional leaps over the likes of Rodney McLeod or Jerraud Powers makes great visuals.

Outside of the hurdling critique, the Hall of Fame backs had little else bad to say about Elliott, who led all rushers with 1,631 yards as a rookie.

"He's behind his shoulder pads," Smith said of Elliott. "He's always falling forward. Great vision, tremendous speed, got a hell of a jump cut, and I mean he's playing chess while others out there are playing checkers. I appreciate that. He's a thinker. He's a smart guy, and I love watching him run."