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Ezekiel Elliott says Cowboys need to ‘lock back in’ on running the ball

11/24/2021 5:25:07 PM
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Ezekiel Elliott isn’t one to complain about his role. He understands why the Cowboys drifted away from the run game in their loss to Kansas City.

But he also knows when this offense is at its best, it’s because they have established himself and/or Tony Pollard on the ground. He doesn’t want the team to drift too far from that principle, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports.

“I think running the football has to be important to us,” Elliott said. “I think it helps this offense. We’re a better football team when we can run it well.

“I think it will be point for us Thursday to get that run game going.”

Mike McCarthy would agree. The Cowboys coach said one day earlier that he attributed the team’s offensive malaise to an inability to get a rhythm to the run game early enough.

Elliott ranks sixth among all rushers in the NFL with 695 yards. He’s averaging 4.6 yards a carry, his best average since he was at 4.7 yards during the 2018 season.

But there’s been a dip in performance. Elliott hasn’t rushed for more than 51 yards in the last four games. He’s averaged 43.5 yards a game in that stretch with an average of 3.5 yards a carry and only two touchdowns.

Elliott rushed for a season-low 32 yards in the loss to the Chiefs and pulled himself out of the game for a few possessions because he aggravated a knee that’s been bothering him in recent weeks.

The issue flared up about the time Elliott’s statistics began to decline. He said it feels better now than it did initially and only hurts if it gets twisted or tangled in a pile over the course of the game. That’s when there is pain.

“But it’s more temporary pain,” Elliott said. “It’s kinda like how you stub your toe, and you have to walk it off. That’s kinda what it’s like.”

That’s what happened to Elliott in the Kansas City game. He believes this is something he can continue to manage and said taking a game or week off to rest the knee has never been a consideration.

“I’m tough. I can play through it.”

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