Aaron Jones wrote a check his legs cashed — with interest.
Prior to last Sunday’s game at AT&T Stadium, the Green Bay Packers running back, citing a 2017 matchup between him and Dallas Cowboys superstar Ezekiel Elliott, confidently stated that he’d match the production of the league’s reigning rushing champion.
“I definitely think I can go toe-to-toe with him,” Jones told ESPN last week. “I feel like that’s something I did a couple of years back in Dallas when not a lot of people knew me. That was my first start. I definitely think I can go toe-to-toe. I’m excited to be in the same stadium and to compete against him.”
There was no competition. If this were a heavyweight battle, Jones would have won via knockout.
The third-year back provided 107 yards and four — four — touchdowns on the ground, willing the Packers to a 34-24 victory over the Cowboys. He added seven receptions for 75 yards, just for good measure.
Elliott? He totaled 91 yards (62 rushing, 29 receiving) and one score, a two-yard plunge. The richest runner in league history was no match for his relatively unknown counterpart.
“I think I made a pretty big statement showing what kind of running back I am and what I can do,” Jones said, per ESPN. “… I like to leave it with no doubt that I feel like I’m the best out there, so I try to leave no doubt in anyone else’s mind.”
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Zeke Humbled by Loss
Elliott echoed Cowboys owner Jerry Jones after the Green Bay game, emphasizing their second straight defeat serves as a “reality check” for a squad who, as quarterback Dak Prescott put it, were “sniffing themselves” to an extreme following a 3-0 start to the season.
“I think we’ve just got to take this loss. Take these last two losses, and use them as fuel,” Elliott said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “We’ve got to come out and play a lot harder, play a lot better, and execute. It’s going to be hard to win games in this league if we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. So, we’ve just got to be a better team.”
Pollard Battling Multiple Injuries
Dallas has established Elliott as its workhorse, and those duties should be amplified in Week 6 against the New York Jets. This is because his backup, rookie Tony Pollard, is battling knee and ankle injuries, head coach Jason Garrett revealed Monday, adding the tantalizing fourth-round pick is “banged up.”
Garrett was hopeful that Pollard would practice this week and play in New Jersey. Even if he goes, the Cowboys’ two-pronged backfield could have its work cut out facing a Jets front which ranks seventh in run defense, surrendering 87.5 yards per game.
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