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Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott makes 2020 good and some with dominant performances on the winning streak




Ezekiel Elliott will run away from all opposition in 2021, but what he is not running from is responsibility. The two-time NFL rush champion put in place a very intense and strict conditioning regime this past season, one that led to quarterback Dak Prescott describing Elliott in June as “in the best shape of his life,” and Elliott himself warning that he is “faster.” . and have “a lot to prove” this season. After a slow start in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – which was meant to be, as offensive coordinator Kellen Moore kept him at just 11 carries in the absence of perennial All-Pro judge Zack Martin and in the face of the best of the league run defense — Elliott shed a tear during the Cowboys’ four-game win streak.

Elliott has amassed 468 yards from scrimmage with six touchdowns in his last four games combined. Even stacked boxes don’t stop him, as defenders struggle to take him down once they get the chance. Those who have been concerned about his alleged lack of outburst have also seen those worries put to bed, and without a nightlight, as the triple Pro Bowler has easily shown his speed and speed with big wins and shifty jukes, and the is all a nod to Elliott’s off-season motivation to make a statement that he is still one of the best halfbacks in football.

He went back to the lab and turned himself into an apparent cyborg.

“I’d say this year has been about my body a lot,” Elliott said Wednesday, three days after he helped bury the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium in Week 5. come in to make up for my st show from last year.”

As brutally honest of a self-critic as you will hear, Elliott refers to a season where he rushed to a career-low 979 yards with six touchdowns in 15 games played. He also ended up with six fumbles — in line with his 2018 campaign for a career-worst in that category.

“Just having the year I had last year, you don’t need more motivation than that,” Elliott said from training camp in July. “I just know what type of player I am. I don’t think I showed that last year. I have a lot to prove. I just made sure I left no doubt that I wasn’t doing as much as I had to do.

“I’m doing it for my teammates. I think the hardest thing about last year is feeling like you’re letting your teammates down. That hurts. I want to make sure I take my best step forward and give it my all do to help this team victory.”

Elliott does all of the above, he didn’t mess with his first 94 touches in Week 5 and placed third in the league in rushing, behind only reigning rush champion Derrick Henry and Cleveland Browns dynamo Nick Chubb – although he beat Chubb in runs that result in a first loss by 25. The added benefit for the Cowboys is that the revival of the run game has not only left the opponent’s defense unbalanced with Prescott operating with surgical precision in the passing game, but in fact that Elliott it’s not the only halfback defenses that have to try to stop every week.

Tony Pollard, the thunderbolt to Elliott’s thunder, is also on pace for a 1,000-yard rush season and has been a deadly addition to what the latter is doing; add credence to Elliott’s promise made in September that “everyone can eat” in the prolific Cowboys onslaught. The tandem keeps Elliott fresh late in games, and Elliott’s hammering forces the defense into a certain mindset that doesn’t apply when Pollard hits the ball.

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It pays off as gangbusters, with the Cowboys already rushing 864 yards through five games.

Arguably the best one-two punch at halfback in the NFL, right up there with Chubb and Kareem Hunt (as an example), the question now is what nickname did Elliott and Pollard come up with for their tag team group?

“We’ve started, but we’re not getting very far,” Elliott said. ‘I told him I’d get on with it. So hopefully I’ll try to have it for you after the farewell week.’

First world troubles, sure, for a team that sits at the top of its division with a 4-1 record and is running at full blast on both sides of the ball – the defense finally adapts to serve in a big way, guided by the historical series of interceptions by Trevon Diggs that even a severe pink eye attack has not stopped. Damn, Diggs is right lobby to have fun on the attacking side of the ball with Prescott and Elliott, but he probably won’t be getting his fork to that side of the table anytime soon. The Cowboys are more than on offense, soon they will also win Michael Gallup back from the injured reserve, and the focus now is on how to keep the good times rolling against Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots in Week 6.

That requires a healthy Elliott, who went down hard after a big win against the Giants, falling onto a plastic pylon with a competition camera. After writhing in pain as he grabbed his back, Elliott was helped by trainers and to the sidelines with a noticeable limp. It didn’t last long, though, as he returned to play and stepped high into the end zone to give the Cowboys a 24-13 lead late in the third quarter.

Elliott, however, has had no residual effects from the fall beyond the pain.

“Only [treating it with] ice cream, stimulant [device], and heat,” he said. “The best thing is heat, just loosen those muscles I landed on [the pylon]. But I mean, what works best is, yeah, heat. So from here until next week I’ll be in the hot tub. By the time we get to New England, I might be a plum.”

The Patriots certainly hope there’s no juice in that plum this week, and they’ll try to find weaknesses in the Cowboys’ offensive line — that is, a currently struggling center in Tyler Biadasz — in hopes of limiting Elliott. But despite Biadasz’s problems and La’el Collins’s lack of proper start, who’s coming to train again next week After serving the last game of his five-game suspension that was not overturned in federal court, Elliott also rightly credits the success of the running game to those who open the lanes for him and the threat posed by the passing game entails.

“One – the O-line, they tear guys up in the front,” he said. “You’ve been tearing up the recipients” [defensive backs], at. Everyone participates, does their part and we reap the benefits.”

Since Elliott averages 5.66 yards per carry and has 170 combined rushing yardsaftercontact during his last three matches, a large part of his success has also come from his ability to beat potential tacklers, something that has often been a staple of his running style. It’s a deadly combination of brutality and finesse, redeemable at any time.

“It’s hard on the defense,” Elliott noted. “Because we might not run the same runs, but we read them a little bit differently, we adapt them a little bit differently, and they get used to seeing one of us run on a slash or a wide zone. And then, the “Other We go about it a little bit differently. It’s hard for them to kind of get in, not comfortable, but they get used to one running style and the next you know the next guy is coming in.”

The team has gotten off to a special start, largely because of a rejuvenated Elliott and other usual suspects, but also a slew of unusual suspects that have taken off after joining the Cowboys this off-season – be it in free agency or the 2021 NFL- concept. With so many new faces in the locker room, there’s more resting on older statesmen like Elliott to lead by example.

“I just think every year you have to develop as a player, as a person, as a leader, as a teammate, as a friend, brother, everything,” he said. “You have to get better. If I just stay the same as last year, I’m not doing my job.”

Excited for the new Cowboys season? We are too! Follow along on the CBS Sports App and get the latest insights from Patrik Walker, who is on site in Dallas. Plus, get the latest Dak Prescott news, Ezekiel Elliott predictions, and more from our team of experts. If you already have the app, make the Cowboys your favorite team for the latest news and analysis.




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