According to Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, the rumors are true and the pictures didn't lie.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott returned to the team in better shape after spending the bulk of his six-week suspension training in Cabo San Lucas.
Elliott's agent released pictures of Elliott running on the beach on Sunday and he looked the part when he saw his teammates for the first time Tuesday.
“He looks slimmer,” Bryant said. “He does look slimmer. It makes his head look even bigger. He looks damn good. I know he is going to be ready to play. It's was exciting just to see him.”
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Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who was selected to the Pro Bowl Tuesday night, had a similar first impresssion.
“He looked lean,” Lawrence said. “He looked in good shape so I’m ready for him to get the ball 80 times. It’s just great to have him back. He should have fresh legs, ready to run the ball, ready to attack opposing defenses. We’re just happy to have him back, just have our brother back in this locker room.”
Lawrence said Elliott appeared to as excited seeing the Cowboys as they were seeing him, like a big kid seeing his folks at Christmas.
“I mean, just very excited, very happy, joyful,” Lawrence said. “You could tell he missed us so much. We also missed him a lot. Just to have that enthusiasm, all his running around, all his playful and joy in this locker room.”
The Cowboys can't wait to get Elliott on the practice field and in the game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday.
His attitude gives them a great lift in the locker room because he is so fun loving, but his impact on the game has them brimming with excitement and anticipation.
“It’s just great. It makes the days go by fast from week to week,” Lawrence said. “Being able to move on. And stop making it look like a job, but more as football again. He helps us out a lot doing that, being able to come in here, run around with his ... He’s crazy. It’s fun just to have a guy like that in the locker room.”
Bryant expects Elliott to make a huge difference as the Cowboys try to win their final two games and make a last-ditch effort for the playoffs.
The Cowboys (8-6) were 3-3 without Elliott, but are riding a three-game winning streak heading into Sunday's game against the Seahawks.
“It helps out a lot,” Bryant said. “He is extremely ready. He gives us extra boost. We are ready to go. We are ready to play some football.”