Dallas Cowboys

2,000 yards? Ezekiel Elliott focused on winning, not records

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL in rushing with 546 yards.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL in rushing with 546 yards.

Forget about Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record of 1,808 yards.

Dez Bryant believes Ezekiel Elliott can become the eighth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards.

Elliott is leading the league with 546 rushing yards through five games. If he averages 115 yards per game the rest of the way, he’ll break Dickerson’s record set in 1983. To reach the 2,000 mark as Bryant suggested, Elliott would need to average more than 132 yards a game.

Elliott brushes off any talk about setting records.

“Honestly, I never started talking about Eric Dickerson’s record, you guys did,” Elliott said. “So you guys made that a story, but it’s honestly not something I’m very focused on. I’m focused on going out and winning ballgames. Focused on getting better with the team every week.”

But is Dickerson’s record within reach?

“I don’t know,” Elliott said.

For now, Elliott is on pace for 1,747 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, which would be the second-best numbers by a rookie running back in NFL history. Dickerson holds both rookie rushing records for yards (1,808) and touchdowns (18) from his 1983 season.

In that ’83 season, Dickerson carried the ball 390 times. Elliott is on pace for 349 carries this season.

That is roughly 22 carries a game for Elliott, the same number he averaged in his final season at Ohio State when he had 1,821 rushing yards on 289 carries in 13 games.

“We feel like he’s a sturdy back,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We don’t think there’s any issue with giving Zeke the football. He’s been very productive. Think he only had 15 carries in the game the other day, so he’s handling the workload well.”

Time will tell whether that workload will eventually land him in the NFL record books.

Drew Davison: 817-390-7760, @drewdavison

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