Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Sounds Off on Ezekiel Elliott’s Role

Ezekiel Elliott

Getty Images Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys.

Ezekiel Elliott is entering a key season with the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones wants to see the two-time rushing leader as the “focal point” of the offense.

Jones joined NFL Network to talk about his squad and didn’t hold back on his vision for Elliott in the offense and how fourth-year back Tony Pollard will play into that.

“We gotta have Tony Pollard out there. No, seriously, Zeke’s gotta be our feature, and he is our feature,” Jones said. “We can feature him in a lot of different ways. We all recognize what he does in the passing game because of his protection ability. Don’t ever underestimate that especially with Zeke.”

Elliott is coming off a year where he registered 237 carries for 1,002 yards — a 4.2 per carry average. He also found the end zone 10 times but didn’t consistently look like the top back he once was. That being said, head coach Mike McCarthy has praised Elliott for his work off and on the field, seeing him as a key piece for the Cowboys as they eye a Super Bowl run.

“Ezekiel Elliott is one of our rocks on this team,” McCarthy told reporters on July 27. “He’s a keystone player. You need those types of individuals to win championships.”

Cowboys Also Want Tony Pollar to Have Role

Elliott is signed through the 2026 season but, he’ll have no guaranteed money left on his deal after this year. The Cowboys might flinch at keeping him around at a $10.9 million salary with a $16.72 million cap hit next season unless a churns out a big year. Jones wants him to have every opportunity to do that.

“It’s critical that we make Zeke — because he’s capable of being that — really the focus of what we’re doing,” Jones said. “Now then, Pollard, there’s plenty of room for Pollard. There’s plenty of room for Pollard when Zeke’s in there. Pollard needs to get the ball.”

It’s a somewhat convoluted statement from Jones on what the backfield could look like but Pollard will get his touches after notching 130 carries a year ago. He collected a career-best 719 yards on the ground and contributed in the passing game with 39 catches for 337 yards.

Injuries Affected Ezekiel Elliott Last Season

Ezekiel Elliott: Back To Full Strength | Dallas Cowboys 2022Running back Ezekiel Elliott discusses the process of getting back to 100% after playing through a knee injury for most of 2021. #DallasCowboys #CowboysNation #NFL Subscribe to the Dallas Cowboys YouTube Channel: For more Cowboys content: Follow us on Instagram: Follow us on TikTok: Follow us on Twitter: Like us…2022-07-28T01:06:53Z

Some of Elliott’s down year can be attributed to a partially torn PCL, which he played through last season. While Elliott isn’t using the injury as an excuse, he admitted it limited what he could do.

“I’d say just my burst,” Elliott said on July 27. “It definitely limited my burst. And I think just the stiffness, keeping it warm on the sideline, but mostly just the burst. … I think it was definitely different from week to week, and also kind of relied on if I got hit on my knee or not. So, I mean, just game to game, week to week, how much I got hit in it.”

Elliott said he doesn’t regret playing through the injury and takes pride in his availability.

“I mean, even before I got the big contract when I was on a rookie deal, I didn’t miss any games [due to injury],” Elliott said. “So, I just think it’s me as a football player, me as an individual, me as a competitor, I want to be out there. I want to be out there for my team and I think that’s that.”

Elliott’s over/under for rushing yards this season is a modest 875.5, per Draftkings.

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John Wade
John Wade
7 months ago

He’s gone after this season……for the last 3 it’s been Zeke is going to … and he just never seems to.

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