Cowboys OC Kellen Moore Unleashing New Plan for Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott

Getty Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott stuffed himself on (metaphorical) appetizers for the first two regular season games. To his delight, the Dallas Cowboys‘ franchise running back is about to dig into entrees from here on out.

Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore indicated Thursday that Elliott will handle a bigger workload — his typical workload — beginning in Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins.

“This is our third game,” Moore said, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “I think he’s at that point where we’re pretty much playing this thing out at this point. It was good those first two weeks just to be aware of it and then also trust Zeke’s response and how he feels and all those things and just balancing that stuff out.”

This, a deviation from the kid gloves he’s been treated with, is welcome news for Elliott, who collected 111 rushing yards and a touchdown on 23 carries in last Sunday’s win over Washington. After the game, he breathed a sigh of relief about resuming his role as the Cowboys’ lead dog, challenged by no one.

“It felt good,” Elliott said, per ESPN.com. “It’s normal. That’s my normal workload, so I’m used to that. But it definitely feels good to be back out there and getting that normal workload.”

Elliott was on a pitch count in Week 1, which took place days after the NFL’s highest-paid RB ended a summer-long holdout in Cabo San Lucas, away from the team and its training staff. There was little issue regarding his physique, but football conditioning cannot be replicated, and a 37-snap opener was as much as Dallas felt comfortable with him tolerating.

Zeke was on the field for 50-of-65 snaps against the Redskins. That number should balloon Sunday versus the tanking Dolphins at AT&T Stadium. Miami owns the league’s worst-ranked run defense (194.5 yards per game) and represents the medicine for an ailing Dallas offense which will be without wide receivers Michael Gallup (knee) and Tavon Austin (concussion).

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Bad News for Pollard

And for fantasy owners of Tony Pollard everywhere. The fourth-round rookie had been a high-end handcuff, and was terrific filling in for Zeke this preseason, but he’s now relegated to clear backup status, ceding almost all touches to the two-time Pro Bowler.

The team’s leading rushing in exhibition play, Pollard has logged 46 yards on 17 regular-season carries, 13 of which came in Dallas’ Week 1 blowout of the Giants. He’s dwarfed by Elliott, who’s converted 36 totes into 164 yards and two TDs.


Romo Endorses Moore

Add legendary Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to the Kellen More Fan Club. Team vice president Stephen Jones revealed Friday that Romo signed off on Moore’s promotion to coordinator.

“Kellen’s got a great nervous system for it,’ Jones said, via Maven Sports’ Mike Fisher. “He’s bringing so many wrinkles.”

After two weeks, the Cowboys’ offense ranks among the top-10 in each major statisical category: fifth in points (33.0 per game), second in total yards (484.0), third in passing yards (333.0), and sixth in rushing yards (151.0).


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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL


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