Ezekiel Elliott’s production in the Dallas Cowboys season opener last week was minimal — though that was to be expected.
He had rejoined the team just days prior to that blowout win against the New York Giants after a 41-day contract holdout, and only carried the ball 13 times for 53 yards while splitting the workload with rookie Tony Pollard.
On Sunday, though, Elliott looked back to his old self.
Elliott ran for 111 yards on 23 carries in the Cowboys’ 31-21 win against the Washington Redskins in Maryland, and had a two-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to seal the deal. He played in all but two of Dallas’ plays in the first half, too.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) September 15, 2019
“I think slowly and surely, I’m getting back in my rhythm, knocking that rust off,” Elliott said after the win, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “I feel good about the game. I feel good about where I am right now. I feel good about everything going forward.”
While his outing was impressive, he didn’t steal the show for Dallas by any means. That honor goes to Dak Prescott, who finished 26-of-30 for 269 yards and three touchdowns. Prescott even recorded a career-long 42 yard run in the win — something Elliott thinks should have easily been a touchdown.
Dak Prescott on slowing down at the end of his 42-yard run: "I'm not the fastest, so I didn't know what was behind me or coming up behind me."
Ezekiel Elliott said you would've scored if you just kept running.
Dak: "Yeah, I love my teammates. They have all the belief in me."
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 15, 2019
Though Elliott played a lot more this week than last, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett made sure to rest him throughout the day. It was 85 degrees at Landover Field in Maryland, and he wanted to make sure that Pollard had his opportunities, too.
Regardless, it sounds like both Garrett and Elliott are content with where the run game is at in Dallas.
“(Elliott) played a lot of snaps in this game. We gave him the ball a lot. That was by design,” Garrett said. “But we also wanted to make sure Pollard played. He’s done a good job for us. He’s worthy of that opportunity. We felt like, on a day like this, Zeke needed a little break here and there.”
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