By Mike Fisher
FRISCO (105.3 The Fan) – The three most-asked questions about Week 1 as the Dallas Cowboys play host to the New York Giants won’t be fully answered until well after the 7:30 Sunday night kickoff at AT&T Stadium.
But we’re getting there. Three FishTips Answers:
QUESTION 1: What’s up with Ezekiel Elliott?
This marks the fourth time in the last five years the two NFC East rivals will meet in the season opener. Part of the tradition? While the Giants have won three straight in the series, the opening-game edge goes to the Cowboys with a 3-1 record in that span.
The pivotal guy who can keep the positive Cowboys edge and erase the Giants edge?
Ezekiel Elliott, arguably Dallas’ best player, with clarity from the NFL forced upon it by Judge Amos Mazzant in court this week regarding his Week 1 availability.
Zeke’s on-field mood over the course of recent weeks, while his fate is battled over in boardrooms and courtrooms?
“Nose-to-grindstone,’’ I say.
QUESTION 2: What’s up with Jaylon Smith?
I had a lengthy conversation with Smith on Wednesday and came away feeling that the concept of “pitch count’’ or “spot duty’’ is about to become a thing of the past. As I reported Thursday morning on 105.3 The Fan, I believe Jaylon is prepping to be Dallas’ starting middle linebacker. Now. In base. In the Nickel. All of it.
No, that doesn’t mean 60 snaps. It doesn’t mean Justin Durant is suddenly out of the picture.
It seemly means the medical and spiritual miracle that is Jaylon, his knee, ankle, foot and heart, is very much in the picture.
QUESTION 3? What’s up with Odell Beckham Jr.?
“I will talk to Odell tonight.’’ Dallas receiver Dez Bryant tells me, reflecting on his friendship with the Giants star receiver. “But we won’t talk about that (Beckham’s tender ankle, which kept him from fully practicing on Wednesday).’’
One of the reasons Dez won’t talk to OBJ about his status?
Because the Cowboys already assume he’ll play.