Suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott is not only coming back from his time away from the Dallas Cowboys in great shape but also with a full-length documentary, sources have confirmed.
Elliott reported to the Cowboys’ headquarters Monday ripped after roughly six weeks of intense training in Cabo San Lucas.
“I heard about it. I saw one little piece of it, but I didn't see the abs. I know Zeke. When he left for the suspension, his goal was to get in much better shape, certainly get his mind right,” Cowboys vice-president Stephen Jones said. “He knows he's made some bad decisions and I know he wants to be one of the great ones in the NFL, and you can't do that if you're not focused on your game both on and off the field. I think it's going to be great to have him back and I know he's going to come back and help us.”
And as initially reported by the NFL Network, Elliott has also used his time away to work on a documentary where he will tell his side of the story and chronicle what he did during his suspension.
Elliott was suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy for allegedly committing domestic violence against former girlfriend Tiffany Thompson.
Elliott was never charged or arrested in the case.
He took the NFL to federal court and played for the first eight games before finally giving up his legal fight.
The Cowboys (7-6) went 2-3 in his absence heading into Sunday’s final bridge game against the Oakland Raiders before Elliott returns for the Dec. 24 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
The Cowboys had two goals for the six-week suspension: stay in playoff contention and for Elliott to return in shape for a final push to the playoff.
It appears that Elliott has kept up his end of the bargain, based on photos on Twitter from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan expects Elliott to be in great shape and anticipates him having fresh legs from his time away.
“I’m sure he’s in shape. I’d be shocked,” Linehan said. “He’s really a world-class athlete. He stays in shape and he trains. I’m sure he’s been doing that. In a lot of ways it’s probably the break he’ll feel a little bit like he feels when he comes to training camp. He’s got a little break between OTAs and training camp now. So he’ll probably have those fresh legs and I’m sure he’ll be ready to go. I don’t know that there’s any model to go by with a guy being gone for a length of time. But a lot of times if you do it right you stay in shape, it can be a benefit for you just as far as how you feel at the end of the year versus if you’re playing every game.”
The Cowboys are riding a two-game win streak after losing the first three games of his suspension that put them in the back of the pack in the race for the final two playoff spots. They have to win all of their remaining games and hope for some help, which means they need to win they must beat the Raiders to give Elliott something to play for when he returns.
Alfred Morris and Rod Smith have shared the running back duties in Elliott’s absence.