Dallas Mavericks: The Dallas sports youth movement peaks with the Mavs
By Kohl Rast
Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott, Leighton Vander Esch, Amari Cooper
If the Dallas Cowboys aren’t one of the most entertaining teams in sports this year then I don’t know who is. After starting the season with a 3-5 record, the Cowboys went on a tear, winning 8 of their next 9 including a playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks in the first round. Throughout that time, they have found great success with a stifling defense and an offense built to make Ezekiel Elliott look good.
Aside from Zeke, the Cowboys have a lot more solid, young players as well. The whole team is structured around some youth on both sides of the ball, especially on defense with none of the regular starters over the age of 29 (excluding Sean Lee) and 6 of the 11 under the age of 25. On offense, they aren’t any older with no one above 28 and 7 guys under the age of 26. Here are a couple of the big names that are still very young.
Ezekiel Elliott (23) is arguably the best running back in the NFL at 23 years old. Although I am not sure that he is better than Todd Gurley, Zeke is a versatile back who can kill you in a number of ways. This youngster has a bright future and Cowboys fans are hopeful that that future stays in Dallas.
Leighton Vander Esch (21) was looked down upon early when the Cowboys were thought to be reaching taking him with the 19th overall pick in the draft. With the season now into the 2nd round of the playoffs, no one is arguing that the Cowboys did the wrong thing in drafting the linebacker from Boise State. He will be the centerpiece to a very good defense going forward.
Amari Cooper (24) was drafted by the Oakland Raiders but traded to Dallas this season for a first round pick. In just 10 games in a Cowboys jersey, Cooper has become the receiver that the team has been praying for since Dez Bryant left. Cooper has been impressive, catching 6 of his 7 touchdowns this season in a Cowboys jersey. The ascension of this young man has only just begun.