Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott isn’t concerned about ‘rookie wall’ at midway point

Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL in rushing at the midway point.
Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL in rushing at the midway point. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott isn’t worried about hitting a ‘rookie wall’ anytime soon.

The Cowboys are at the halfway point of the season and Elliott is ready to finish strong. He’s leading the NFL with 891 rushing yards and is on pace for 1,782 yards. Elliott would need to average 115 yards the rest of the season to break Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record of 1,808.

Dickerson had 995 rushing yards at the halfway point of his 1983 rookie season.

“I feel good, you know? I feel I’ve been taking good care of my body,” Elliott said. “I feel fresh and just trying to stay on this routine, try to make sure I continue to stay fresh. I’m not really worried about a ‘rookie wall.’”

Elliott has carried the ball 177 times, which puts him on pace for 354. Dickerson carried it 390 times as a rookie.

The Cowboys have monitored Elliott’s workload and feel he can handle whatever they give him. He had 289 carries in 13 games last season at Ohio State.

But Elliott is more concerned with Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh and keeping the Cowboys on a winning streak. He feels they have done a good job establishing the run and being a physical football team so far.

“I think the identity of the offense is just physical, being physical, going out there and wearing guys down and pulling away in the second or third or fourth quarter,” Elliott said. “We come out there and it’s pretty obvious we want to run the ball. Our game plan has been the same week in and week out. We try to run the ball, try to wear them down so in the third or fourth quarter they don’t want to be out there.”