Top Cowboys playmakers in Sunday's victory over the Giants
Ezekiel Elliott didn’t have any interest discussing his lingering legal battle with the NFL.
He said after Sunday night’s game that he was looking forward to a fair trial and the ability to clear his name. On Wednesday, Elliott shut down any mention of the NFL’s request for a stay in district court of the league’s six-game suspension it handed him for violating the personal conduct policy.
“I’m not speaking about that anymore,” Elliott said.
Instead, Elliott is focused on football and helping the Cowboys get off to a 2-0 start this Sunday in Denver.
Elliott started his sophomore campaign in impressive fashion, rushing for 104 yards on 24 carries against the Giants. He also had five catches for 36 yards on five targets in the passing game.
It’s clear the Cowboys want to get Elliott involved as often as possible in the offense, and he’s ready for that type of workload.
“I think it’s pretty clear the type of football we play,” Elliott said. “I don’t think anything’s going to change. It was the same for all 16 games last year. I think it’s going to be the same going forward and I’m prepared for it.”
Elliott had 322 carries a season ago, but was targeted just 39 times out of the backfield. The passing game is an area where Elliott could see additional balls come his way.
“Just my whole career, starting in college, I really focused on being a back that really didn’t have any weaknesses,” Elliott said. “I wanted to be good in all aspects of the game, so I expect to be a good pass catcher out of the backfield.”
Elliott deflected a question about coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan opting to throw it three times instead of run it in a first-and-goal situation from the 3-yard line early in the game against the Giants.
Ten of Elliott’s 15 rushing touchdowns were of at least 3 yards last season.
“We’re out there to run the plays that are called, and there are reasons they’re pro coaches,” Elliott said. “They know what they’re doing. They’ve been doing this for a long time, so we trust everything they ask us to do. There’s no questions ask when we go on the sidelines because of a certain play call.”
Asked if he lobbied for the ball at all, Elliott said: “You always want the ball being a running back, but at times it’s not the time. Whatever they ask me, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Elliott and the Cowboys understand the importance of establishing the run once again this week. The Broncos were among the worst run defenses in the NFL a season ago, but held Melvin Gordon and the Chargers rushing attack to just 64 yards in Monday night’s opener.
“It’s always important for us to establish the run,” Elliott said. “That’s just how we play football. Just kind of establishing the run, kind of tiring those guys down, and holding up in pass protection.”