Ezekiel Elliott Aug 4, 2022; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) warms up during training camp at River Ridge Playing Fields in Oxnard, California. Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Ezekiel Elliott was the leading rusher in the Dallas Cowboys offense that led the league last year, the former Ohio State Buckeyes star did not have his best season. And one former NFL general manager thinks that dropoff in production is a sign of things to come.

In an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up on Wednesday morning, former New York Jets and Miami Dolphins general manager Mike Tannenbaum had some strong criticism for Elliott, predicting that if the Cowboys make him the focal point of their offense, they’ll finish no better than third in the NFC East.

“They just can’t run their offense through Zeke Elliott anymore,” Tannenbaum said. “If that happens, the wheels came off the bus. More players got hurt outside, maybe Dak Prescott got hurt.”

Tannenbaum does not even believe that Elliott is the team’s best running back. He gives that nod to fourth-year running back Tony Pollard.

“He’s not even their best running back,” Tannenbaum said. “That’s Tony Pollard. Tony Pollard averages 1.5 yards per touch more than Zeke Elliott.”

In perhaps his most scathing review of Elliott, Tannenbaum called the running back “yesterday’s news” and said that if the Cowboys make him a focal point of the offense, they will be “average at best” this season.

“Zeke Elliott is yesterday’s news. He can run between the tackles, but he is not dynamic, he is not elusive.” Tannenbaum said. “If they’re running their offense through him, they are average at best and looking up at both the Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles.”

Those are quite strong words. Now we’ll see if Elliott can prove him wrong.

[Get Up ESPN]