Ezekiel Elliott Speaks Out on Struggling Cowboys Offense

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott

Getty Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott is not pressing the proverbial panic button regarding the Dallas Cowboys‘ once-high-powered offense, which appears to be stuck in neutral ahead of the NFL playoff stretch.

“I wouldn’t say I’m concerned at all,” Elliott said after Sunday’s 27-20 victory at Washington, via Sam Gannon of KDFW Fox 4. “We knew it was going to be tough. I think we do gotta play a lot better football on offense. We gotta celebrate this win. We can’t be mad about a win. We’ll be better next week.”

The banged-up running back, nursing a knee ailment, added to the continued offensive stagnation. With ascending backup Tony Pollard (foot) inactive, Elliott plodded 12 times for 45 scoreless yards against the Football Team, averaging 3.8 yards-per-tote. The $90 million star has just one rushing touchdown over his last three games and hasn’t eclipsed 100 ground yards since Week 5, nor even 50 yards since Week 9.

Franchise quarterback Dak Prescott, meanwhile, logged his third subpar performance in his last four starts, completing 22-of-39 passes (56.4%) for 211 yards, one TD, and two interceptions. The latter turnover was a stunningly bad pick-six to Cole Holcomb that nearly enabled Washington to pull off an improbable fourth-quarter comeback.

“Aided” by Prescott’s season-low QBR (9.9), the Cowboys’ offense finished 7-for-18 on third down and 1-of-6 in the red zone across 14 drives despite featuring its full complement of weapons.

The way Elliott sees it: Washington gets paid, too, and these annual grudge matches are always a dogfight — certainly not indicative of Dallas’ ongoing struggles.

“It’s a division game, so you know you got to be tough,” Elliott said in his postgame press conference, via the official team website. “We know each other so well. We play each other twice a year. You expect it to be close and that’s what this was.”

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McCarthy Discusses Zeke’s Workload

Surprisingly, given Pollard’s absence, Elliott was out-touched by No. 3 RB Corey Clement, who handled 13 carries for 44 yards. This was by design, according to Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, who sat Zeke for large stretches of the second half.

“That was me being conservative,” McCarthy said after the game, via the official team website. “He wanted to go back in and I was cautious.”

Elliott’s knee was first dinged during Dallas’ Week 4 victory over the Carolina Panthers. However, the former Pro Bowler has repeatedly downplayed the issue, which he insists on playing through. And he emerged unscathed from the squeaker at FedEx Field.

“I felt good,” Elliott said. “I think just the way the game went in the second half they played Corey a little bit more, but I felt good today.”

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Lamb Reacts to Rushing Attempts

An ineffective Elliott and unavailable Pollard forced Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to draw from his bag of tricks. Moore thus concocted a pair of rushing opportunities for wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, who notched 15 yards on two runs.

Lamb revealed after the game that he hadn’t taken a carry in several years, dating back to his stint as a high school running back.

“I didn’t do it in college,” Lamb explained to reporters, via the official team website. “It felt good to be back. I was a running back once, so I’m not really new to it. I’m just reading my blocks and reading my keys and doing what I got to do to get positive yards.”

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