Ezekiel Elliott just introduced Malcolm Jenkins to the AT&T Stadium turf. The Dallas Cowboys‘ superstar running back trucked the Eagles‘ Pro Bowl defensive back during the first quarter of Sunday night’s NFC East showdown.
Facing 1st-and-10 from Philly’s 14-yard line, Elliott busted through the hole (and Jenkins) and, upon extending, appeared to break the plane of the end zone. Replay showed he was down inside the one-yard line, but he officially punched it in on the following play.
The score was set up by an Eagles fumble on the previous possession.
As of this writing, Elliott has totaled 46 yards and the TD on 10 carries. He’s also caught three passes for 21 yards as Dallas leads 21-7 in the second quarter.
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So Far, So Good for Dak
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is breaking out of his three-game slump with a terrific effort against Philadelphia. As of this writing, he’s completed 10-of-12 passes for 88 yards and a TD, a one-yard toss to wide-open tight end Blake Jarwin.
Prescott has only been sacked once, buoyed by the return of starting tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, both of whom are playing through injuries. This is highly encouraging as a pre-game reporte claimed Dallas fears a “serious” injury for Prescott, worry centered around the NFL’s apparent lack of concern for his safety.
“If the officials don’t start protecting Dak, he’s going to get seriously injured….They protect some QBs but not him,” a team source told plugged-in ESPN reporter Ed Werder.
There’s some validity to the complaint. Two Jets defenders — defensive end Kyle Phillips and linebacker Neville Hewitt — were each fined $21,056, the Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken reported, for illegal hits in last week’s game that weren’t called as penalties on the field.
Phillips’ blow was particularly impactful as Prescott’s head clanged off his thigh, temporarily forcing Dallas’ franchise signal-caller to the sideline medical tent. He was evaluated for a concussion and cleared to return in the 24-22 defeat.
LVE Leaves with Injury
The injury bug giveth, the injury bug taketh. During the second quarter, Cowboys star linebacker Leighton Vander Esch exited the game with what the team is describing as a neck injury. He’s considered questionable to return.
Justin March-Lillard will help replace LVE at outside linebacker for as long as he’s sidelined. Vander Esch’s absence puts more of an onus on fellow OLB Sean Lee, who’s battled injury and occasional ineffectiveness to this point in 2019.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL