“That’s something I’ve been doing well on this year,” Elliott said in the wake of the 43-3 victory, via the official team website. “Definitely gotta lock back in on my ball security. Their defense came out, they played good against the run. A lot of movement, they were pretty disruptive. We went out there and hit our plays.”
Facing a 2nd-and-3 midway through the third quarter, Elliott took a carry roughly seven yards before coughing it up to Atlanta. That had not happened in 244 touches, spanning back to last Thanksgiving, per ESPN’s Todd Archer.
Elliott — who worked to correct his hands over the offseason after losing a career-high five fumbles in 2020 — finished the game with a team-leading 14 rushes for 41 yards and two touchdowns, adding 15 receiving yards on three catches.
Both of Zeke’s scores came as the Cowboys piled up a franchise-record 29 second-quarter points.
“We knew going into the game we had to start fast, we knew we had to makeup for last week,” Elliott said, via the official team website, referencing Dallas’ 30-16 loss to Denver. “We want the ball; we want to hit them in the mouth first. We wanted to go score first and that’s what we did.”
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Zeke Champions 4th-Down Aggressiveness
Earmarking an effort in which they generated 431 total yards of offense and held the ball for more than 37 minutes, the Cowboys were a perfect three-for-three on fourth-down attempts across 11 drives.
Two of the conversions preceded Elliott’s touchdowns, galvanizing a unit that couldn’t stay on the field against the Broncos.
“We’re going to play aggressive, that’s our mentality, that’s how we’re going to play football. We play aggressive,” Elliott said after Sunday’s win, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “On the field, with the call, everything. If you don’t like it, it’s whatever. That’s how we rolling.”
“I feel like we dominated, played the way we know how to play,” echoed wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, via Machota.
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Gallup Discusses Return to Action
Sixty-six days separated Michael Gallup from his calf strain and the Cowboys’ starting lineup. Injured in the season-opener, Gallup was activated for Sunday’s tilt, deployed as the No. 3 WR behind Lamb and Amari Cooper.
Gallup made the most of his 41 offensive snaps versus Atlanta, posting 42 receiving yards with a long grab of 23. Of his five targets, three were caught. One that wasn’t — a drop — was perhaps a product of rust, but unarguably haunting for the restless veteran.
“Long wait, long wait. Patience is a virtue. I’m glad I waited out for it, got healthy so I could come out and do what I do,” Gallup said, per Machota, adding, “I was so hurt about (my drop). I was looking down the field. Just catch the ball first Mike, just catch the ball first.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL