Ezekiel Elliott had one of the worst games of his career as his Dallas Cowboys suffered a brutal loss to the division rival Washington Redskins in Week 7.
Elliott rushed 15 times for 33 yards, the second-lowest output of his NFL career. The team amassed just 73 yards on the ground in 22 tries, falling 20-17 thanks to several miscues in the closing seconds.
“We have to do better on offense,” Elliott said, according to Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News. “We got to help this defense out. This defense is playing as good as any other defense in the league, probably the best defense in the league. And we’re not giving them any help.”
Through seven weeks, the Cowboys have the second-best scoring defense in the league, surrendering just 17.6 points per game.
But a lot of that has to do with their competition — Dallas has yet to face a team that’s in the top 10 in points per game, and the Detroit Lions, at 12th, are the only team they’ve played that’s in the top half of the league.
Miscues Cost Cowboys
Thanks in part to opposing quarterback Alex Smith’s mental error, Dallas got the ball back down three with 1:09 remaining.
Though Jason Garrett had an opportunity to stop the clock with a spike and take a potential game-winning shot at the end zone from 29 yards out with 12 seconds remaining, the head coach opted to let the clock run down and call a timeout to set up a game-tying field goal on the road with three seconds left.
CBS analyst and former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo criticized Garrett’s strategy on the broadcast.
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur was then flagged for a false start, turning a 47-yard field-goal attempt into a 52-yarder that kicker Brett Maher barely missed.
“The biggest thing we wanted to do was maximize the field goal opportunity and run the ball, make some yards, use the timeout and then kick the game-tying field goal,” Garrett said of his questionable late-game clock management, per Machota.