Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott Fires Back at Critics Calling for His Job

Ezekiel Elliott

Getty Ezekiel Elliott

Wednesday marked Ezekiel Elliott’s chance to shush growing whispers concerning his role — and potentially his future — with the Dallas Cowboys.

And shush he did.

“At the end of the day, those aren’t the people signing my checks,” Elliott said when asked about his critics, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Those aren’t the cats that are making the final decisions. I think there’s a reason they’re not the ones making those decisions. I don’t think it really matters.”

The question was raised after Dallas’ Week 15 development in which an injured Elliott was a surprise deactivation and his understudy, sophomore RB Tony Pollard, exploded for 5.8 yards-per-carry and two touchdowns amid a 41-33 victory over San Francisco.

Pollard’s deliverance earned him accolades of the highest honor.

“He has extraordinary burst as everybody can see. But he also is just a really all-around football player from his position,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan. “…He just can be a part of giving defenses fits, and you see it.”

Such praise coincided with Jones having to defend Elliott’s albatross $90 million contract as well as headlines predicting the team will sell his services to the highest bidder this coming offseason. Adding gas to the proverbial fire was McCarthy’s cryptic reasoning for scratching Elliott against the 49ers: “We felt like it was not in the best interest to go with him.”

But the bad-blood narrative appears to be a media creation. Pollard said after Sunday’s game that “Zeke’s like my No. 1 fan” and since-released video shows Elliott coaching Pollard on the sideline.

To Elliott — who’s in danger of being held under 1,000 rushing yards for the first time since 2017 — the only voice that carries any weight is Jerry Jones’. And that voice also tamped down speculation suggesting his short- or long-term replacement.

“They’re two different type backs,” Jones said of Pollard and Elliott. “…Zeke is a tremendous weapon for football because physicalness does have an impact and does wear down and does win when it can be a part of not making as many mistakes as we’ve made a lot of times (on offense) when we’ve seen that earlier this year.

“We’ve always frankly known that with Pollard that we had an alternative there that was another way to do it, but a good way to do it. They make quite a tandem.”

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Zeke Updates Calf Injury, Week 16 Status

Pollard showed more burst in one game than Elliott had in his last several contests. That’s probably because the former is healthy and the latter is not. Elliott sat out last week’s game after missing each of the three preceding practices.

His prospects look better for Sunday’s divisional matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. Elliott returned to practice, participating on a limited basis, and claims his bum calf issue feels “way better.”

“Obviously, with the rest this weekend, it’s got me feeling better,” he said Wednesday, via Pro Football Talk. “I actually got out there a little bit at practice this week, ran around in team drills, so I mean it’s definitely making the right steps to be ready for Sunday. I’d just probably say the biggest difference is it feels more like a bruise pain in my calf and then last week around Saturday it started tugging on me a little bit, so that’s why I wasn’t able to go. But definitely feels better with the rest and looking good for this weekend.”

READ NEXT: Stephen Jones Reveals Decision on Dalton as Cowboys QB in 2021

Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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