Ezekiel Elliott ate the New York Giants, chewed them up, then spit them out. Whole.
The Dallas Cowboys‘ superstar running back converted 23 carries into 139 rushing yards in Dallas’ 37-18 steamrolling of the Giants on Monday night. It was his third consecutive game crossing the 100-yard threshold, nearly tripling his output (53 yards) from the teams’ season-opening meeting.
The 139 yards are the most Zeke has tallied in a tilt this year. It was, as he intimates, taking a shot directly at Big Blue, extremely light work.
“I mean that was the easiest 140 yards I ever gained,” Elliott said, per ESPN. “I don’t really know if I broke a tackle. I just ran inside the scheme and those guys just mauled them up front. So I mean thanks to them for making it easy on me today. Gotta love the big fellas.”
Elliott has a point; Dallas’ monster offensive line was consistently blowing the Giants’ front seven off the ball, as gaping holes big enough to accommodate a Mack truck formed. The NFL’s highest-paid RB averaged six yards per carry and helped the Cowboys accumulate 429 total yards, including 172 on the ground.
Even rookie backup Tony Pollard found success in a limited role, turning three totes into 21 yards (and adding one reception for nine yards).
The catalyst? Stuff like this.
As evidenced, the Cowboys’ O-line has returned to full strength following injuries to left tackle Tyron Smith and right tackle La’el Collins. Along with guards Zack Martin and Connor Williams and pivot man Frederick, the blockers are now collectively hitting on all cylinders.
On this night, more than anyone else, Elliott reaped the reward.
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Jerry Jones Cracks Joke About Black Cat in Cowboys’ Win
Sure, Elliott was the engine that made Dallas’ offense go against New York. Sure, quarterback Dak Prescott (three passing touchdowns) and the defense (five sacks, TD) pulled their weight, too.
But, apparently, in the Cowboys’ world, their good luck charm is a black cat. Negative superstitions were put to rest at MetLife Stadium, where one such stray feline sauntered onto the field in the first half of the Week 9 contest.
When the cat made its way across the gridiron, with about five minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Cowboys were losing to the Giants, 9-3, in a particularly worrisome half of football.
Once the cat exited — it eventually jumped into the stands — the Cowboys’ luck took a turn for the better. They went on to outscore New York 34-9 across the final two frames, including a 21-point fourth quarter which cemented a season sweep of their NFC East rival.
After the win, which lifted the Cowboys to 5-3, a playful Jerry Jones jokingly took possession of the team’s new (unofficial) mascot: “There’s the cage over there for my cat. He was so mean, I didn’t even want to look at him,” Jones quipped to reporters, via The Athletic.
Cooper Gives Update on Knee Injury
Cowboys Nation held its breath early in the game as top wide receiver Amari Cooper suffered what appeared to be a serious knee issue. He exited the game after collecting his fourth leg injury (heel, ankle, quad) this season, and many assumed he’d be ruled out.
Cooper, however, was no worse for wear. He finished the night with a team-high 80 receiving yards on four grabs, one of which went for a 45-yard, game-sealing score where he dusted the entirety of the Giants’ secondary.
Addressing reporters following the victory, Cooper revealed the knee injury first occurred in last week’s practice. He didn’t seem overly concerned about his status going forward — attributed to the aforementioned cat, believe it or not.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL