After what he has gone through since his breakout rookie season in 2016, including a year-long NFL investigation, a months-long battle with the NFL federal court and a six-game suspension, he really doesn’t expound about much at all these days.
But it stands to reason that Elliott is primed and focused to put the past behind him with a big season in 2017.
And running back coach Gary Brown offered a window into Elliott’s soul when he said the 2016 NFL rushing champion considered 2017 a lost season after rushing for just 983 yards in 10 games.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
The Cowboys were 3-3 during his suspension.
“With what happened last year with the whole suspension and everything, I think he felt as though he didn’t accomplish anything,” Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown said. “But he did accomplish some things.
“Hopefully, he doesn’t put too much pressure on himself. If he doesn’t, I think we’ll have a great Zeke.”
What the Cowboys will have is a stress-free who no longer has to worry about looming off-the-field issues.
Coach Jason Garrett has already said not having those things hang over him should make for a better Elliott and more focused Elliott in 2018.
And owner Jerry Jones believes is the formula for great things to come.
What’s more is that the Cowboys are going to give him every chance to be great.
Elliott had 354 touches in 2016 when he rushed for 1631 yards and 16 touchdowns.
That number should grow considerably in the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott-friendly offense.
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan went out on a limb and said the only two people who will touch the ball more than Elliott in 2018 will be Prescott, the quarterback, and center Travis Frederick.
While there is no question Elliott will get the bulk of the carries, don’t be surprised if he one of the league leaders in receptions out of the backfield.
With trusted tight end Jason Witten retired and former No. 1 receiver Dez Bryant released, Elliott is the favorite to assume the role as Prescott’s favorite and most reliable target.
“I don’t like to make a true prediction,” Linehan said. “He will touch the ball more than anyone on our team.”