Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott embraces chance to run with first team

Running back Ezekiel Elliott ran with the first team Wednesday with Darren McFadden out while dealing with a family issue.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott ran with the first team Wednesday with Darren McFadden out while dealing with a family issue. Star-Telegram

Ezekiel Elliott worked with the first team Wednesday, giving a glimpse of what is expected of the rookie running back this season.

“It’s been good,” Elliott said. “Everything has been slowing down. The game is becoming a lot easier, so I’m settling into the offense, and everything is going well.”

Darren McFadden, who rushed for 1,089 yards last season, didn’t practice with what coach Jason Garrett termed a “family situation.” It gave Elliott reps with the starters.

Everyone expects Elliott, as the fourth overall choice, to be in the backfield with Tony Romo for the first play of opening day. It seems only a matter of time before Elliott wins the job from McFadden.

“You’ve kind of got to embrace the expectations, but it’s not something I really pay attention to,” Elliott said. “I know my expectations for myself. Honestly, they’re probably higher than what other people expect of me. I’m just going to focus on ball and focus on what’s going on in this building, not really what’s going on outside the building.”

The Cowboys’ veterans have embraced Elliott, believing he can do what DeMarco Murray did two years ago in leading the league in rushing. The Cowboys went 12-4 in 2014.

“He is a great weapon,” Elliott said. “He’s very eager to learn. He’s a humble guy. Obviously, he has a lot of talent, picked as high as he was. So he comes in here and seems like he’s embracing this opportunity. As a rookie, you have to do that. I think he’s done a really good job of that so far just in the couple of weeks I’ve been with him. He works the right way. He kind of fits our mold of what we’re trying to do as a football team.”

 

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