Based on his professional debut, Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott certainly looked worthy of the fourth overall pick.
Elliott made nice cuts on his runs, picked up blocks and showed some feistiness in his preseason debut Thursday against the Seahawks.
Elliott rushed for 48 yards on seven carries, and played 15 snaps through the Cowboys’ first two offensive drives.
“It felt great to finally get out there in a full speed game against somebody that’s not our own team,” Elliott said in halftime quotes distributed by the team.
“It was great to get behind that offensive line, get that game feel, get my first real reps as a pro football player.”
Elliott looked particularly good on the second series when the Cowboys opened it with four consecutive rushes. After a 1-yard gain, Elliott rattled off runs of 9, 9 and 13 yards.
Backup quarterback Dak Prescott then tried to find Elliott on a pass play, but the throw was deflected at the line of scrimmage. That didn’t stop Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor from delivering a welcome-to-the-NFL hit after the play.
Elliott didn’t back down, getting in Chancellor’s face, as Chancellor was called for a personal foul penalty.
In the end, it marked a strong debut for the Ohio State product, who is expected to play a prominent role in the Cowboys’ offense. Dallas made him the fourth overall pick after he rushed for more than 1,800 yards in each of his final two seasons with the Buckeyes.
Ron Leary remains the odd man out of the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive line.
He has the ability to start in the NFL, but has been surpassed by second-year pro La’el Collins at left guard. Now, all Leary can do is keep a positive mindset and hope that another team gives the Cowboys enough in return to facilitate a trade.
Leary has been slowed by a groin injury and didn’t play in Thursday’s preseason game at Seattle, but brushed off the notion that could impact his potential trade value.
“I think every team knows what I can do by now,” said Leary, who started 31 of 32 games at left guard for the Cowboys in 2013-14. “I’ve been playing for a while now, so not playing in a preseason game isn’t going to have teams wondering what I can do.”
Leary, 27, said he feels good physically and is simply taking a cautious approach with the regular season a couple weeks away.
Leary, who sat out voluntary team activities in the off-season after demanding a trade, has kept a positive attitude. He is under contract for $2.553 million after signing his restricted free agent tender before the draft.
The team signed Joe Looney to backup the three interior offensive line positions on game day because Looney has experience playing center.
“I’ve been cool. I just focus on me,” Leary said. “It’s only so much you can control, and I just control what I can control and that’s playing football. All the trade talks that have been going on for a while now,. We’ll see if something happens. But I’m always going to stay positive. I’m not going to get down because I’m a real confident guy in my game and everything.”
Asked if he’s optimistic about getting a chance to start somewhere in the league soon, Leary said: “I hope so. I want to start. I know I’m a starter in the league, I’ve said it plenty of times and other people have said it, so it’s true. It’s not just me talking.
“I hope so. I just pray about it and let it go. I can’t sit there and wrack my mind about it every day, it’ll drive you crazy. You end up being miserable, and I’m not going to let that happen.”