Ezekiel Elliott isn’t worried about the team rookie rushing record. He isn’t worried about Eric Dickerson’s NFL rookie rushing record. He isn’t worried about who the Dallas Cowboys quarterback is. He probably isn’t worried about Tuesday’s presidential election.
It’s Elliott’s world … and the Cowboys are living in it.
On paper, Elliott came up short of what he has done this season. Elliott averaged 114.1 yards per game the first seven games. He rushed for 92 yards on 18 carries Sunday.
I’ve never seen so many 21s in the stands in my life. Zeke was home, and he gave them a show.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
“It’s something you are going to see and say to your best friend that it’s not important,” Elliott said of his stats. “What’s important is getting wins and getting better every week.”
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Elliott averaged 5.1 yards a carry against the Browns, scored two touchdowns and felt like he was back at Ohio State playing Kent State. The Cowboys, holding a 35-10 lead after three quarters, played Elliott only one snap in the fourth — a 5-yard rush that left him 8 yards shy of his fifth 100-yard game. (He had 96 yards last week against Philadelphia.)
“It’s a long season, and I’ve had a very increased workload, so they’re just taking care of me,” Elliott said.
Elliott, with a league-leading 891 yards, has the third-most rushing yards by a rookie in history through eight games. Adrian Peterson had 1,036 as a rookie in 2007 through eight games, and Eric Dickerson 995. Dickerson owns the NFL rookie record at 1,808, with Elliott on track for 1,782.
But Tony Dorsett’s team rookie rushing record of 1,007 won’t hold up long.
“Not really, honestly,” guard Zack Martin said when asked if any of the rookie rushing marks mean anything. “We’re in the business of winning football games. I know Zeke is in that same business, so he wants to do whatever he can to help the team. That’s what he does.”
Elliott, the fourth overall pick, has only Dak Prescott as competition for offensive rookie of the year.
“He’s just a really good football player,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “If you know a lot about football, you’d say he’s a really good football player. If you don’t know much about it, you’d say, ‘Who’s 21? He’s a really good football player.’ You handle the ball, and good things happen.”
Elliott is gaining fans daily, though he already owned Ohio after three years with the Buckeyes. A chant of “Zeke!” reverberated through FirstEnergy Stadium after his first carry. It continued for all 19 of his touches.
“I’ve never seen so many 21s in the stands in my life,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “Zeke was home, and he gave them a show.”
Elliott also isn’t worried about an ex-girlfriend’s domestic violence allegations being a distraction, he said. The Cowboys aren’t concerned either, Jones said, even as the league continues its investigation.
“Everything — everything — that I know regarding any of Zeke’s behavior makes me satisfied that we don’t have any issues, and I know about all of those things,” Jones said. “I know everything, yes. There’s been nothing — nothing — that I didn’t know about that anybody has brought up. I’m very comfortable that I’ve got Zeke’s full story. … And we haven’t been worried about that since training camp.”