Patriots-Jets Rivalry Takes New Turn With Prop On New Signings

Could Ezekiel Elliott outperform Dalvin Cook?


Aug 15, 2023

The New England Patriots and New York Jets added to their backfields Monday, and both veteran running backs are expected to have different impacts on their respective teams.

New England signed former Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who is expected to be a backup to Rhamondre Stevenson and should provide value in pass protection and in the red zone.

The Jets signed Dalvin Cook, who expressed admiration for Aaron Rodgers and signed for more money than Elliott.

Both veteran running backs provided depth to their respective teams, who each have promising young running backs.

Elliott’s production declined since his last Pro Bowl season in 2019, but Cook rushed for over 1,000 yards in his last four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. It’s likely why oddsmakers at FanDuel expect the latter to be better than the former.

FanDuel released a head-to-head prop on which player will have the most rushing yards. Cook was the favorite at -300, and Elliott had +220 odds to outperform the four-time Pro Bowl running back.

Cook likely viewed himself as a player still capable of performing at a high level, which is why he waited until it was the right time to sign, unlike Elliott, who’s declining production was why he didn’t sign with a team until mid-August.

But there’s reason to be skeptical about New York being a Super Bowl contender. That also could coincide with Cook not being as effective as he was in Minnesota. The Jets remain high on Breece Hall, who is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last season.

It’s possible Cook gets off to a fast start, but once Hall is back at full strength, the 2022 second-round pick might have the backfield to himself.

Bill O’Brien might be the answer to the Patriots’ problems on offense. If that’s the case, Elliott could surprise and be more efficient than expected.

That’s hard to project a day after the backs signed with their new teams, which is why Cook is fairly the favorite. But the case for Elliott might not be as crazy as fans probably think it is.

Thumbnail photo via Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports Images

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