Ezekiel Elliott will carry a significant load against the Seattle Seahawks, according to Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan
Sunday’s game will mark the star running back’s first game since missing the previous six under NFL suspension.
Elliott returned in better shape than he left, as he is leaner after training in Cabo, San Lucas, for much of his time away.
“I think we’re going to have significant touches,” Linehan said. “He looks like he’s in great shape. Practicing great. He just looks great. So he’s one of those guys that trains and prepares for the games. I think he’s ready to roll.”
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Elliott had no few fewer than 27 carries in the four games before he began the suspension.
The Cowboys are facing an injury-riddled Seahawks defense that gave up 152 yards rushing and four total touchdowns to Rams running back Todd Gurley last Sunday.
One day after making the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence sat out of practice on Wednesday because of a back issue.
It raised all kinds of alarms, concerning Lawrence, who will be a free-agent at the end of the season and hopes to cash on his big year that includes a league-leading 13.5 sacks, with a big contract - especially considering that he has had back surgery the past two off-seasons.
Relief came on Thursday when Lawrence returned to practice. He said he just needed a rest day and plans to play on Sunday against the Seahawks
Playing defensive back against the Seahawks means you have to cover a little longer and with more discipline because of the scrambling ability of quarterback Russell Wilson.
Wilson is known to extend plays with his scrambling in the pocket, often resulting in big plays to wide open receivers down the field.
The Cowboys have talked their defensive backs about sticking with their man all over the field.
“Yeah, it’s really just playing man to man,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Once he tries to extend the play, the biggest thing you try and do is get on your guy or the guy closest to you and just defend him throughout the down. And it’s one of the keys to this game because of how Russell Wilson is able to extend plays. He just has an unbelievable knack. Beyond just his quickness and athleticism, he just has a feel for getting away from guys and keeping the plays alive and they do a very good job on the other end of it giving him places to throw the ball.”