The Dallas Cowboys face a notable opponent in Week 4.
The Cowboys will look to bounce back after suffering an upset loss to the Arizona Cardinals as they host the New England Patriots in Week 4. While the game is obviously notable because Dallas is looking to get back on the right track with a victory, it’s also noteworthy because they’re due to host their former longtime running back, Ezekiel Elliott.
As Elliott makes his first return to Dallas since his release during the offseason, his former head coach, Mike McCarthy, has a few thoughts on his former starting running back’s trip back home.
“Not looking forward to watching him run against us, that’s for sure,” McCarthy said with a laugh, via Patrik Walker of Cowboys.com.
Through the first three games with his new team, Elliott has rushed for 122 yards on 28 carries (4.4 yards per carry). Elliott is actually coming off of his best performance with the Patriots, rushing for 80 yards on 16 carries (five yards per carry) as New England’s leading rusher in their 15-10 victory over the New York Jets.
McCarthy went on to mention how much of a “good fit” Elliott is with New England.
“I’m excited for Zeke,” McCarthy added. “Great opportunity. He’s been keeping in touch with all of our guys. He’ll do great there. Play-style alone, I think he’s a really good fit for how they like to play.”
Ezekiel Elliott Comments on Return to Dallas
Elliott starred for the Cowboys for seven seasons, leading the league in rushing yards twice, notching two Pro Bowl selections and two All-Pro selections. However, Elliott’s efficiency started declining as the years wore on, as he averaged a career-low 3.8 yards per carry with just 17 receptions for 92 receiving yards despite starting the entire season for Dallas in 2022.
His decline coincided with the emergence of Tony Pollard, who notched a Pro Bowl bid during the 2022 season despite serving as Elliott’s backup. Pollard posted 1,007 rushing yards despite carrying the ball less than Elliott — 192 attempts to 231 attempts — while contributing 39 receptions for 371 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
Following the Patriots’ win over the Jets, Elliott commented on his return to Dallas.
“It’s going to be fun. I’m excited to go back to Dallas, a place where I have so much history, my home in the offseason,” Elliott said, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “It will be cool to get back in AT&T [Stadium].”
Dak Prescott Sounds off on Cardinals Loss
Following the Cowboys’ loss to the previously win-less Cardinals, Dak Prescott stressed that Dallas needs to be better in the red zone. The Cowboys went 1-for-5 in the red zone, including 0-for-4 during the second half.
“Y’all put us on top of the world,” said Prescott. “We knew who we are. In that same sense, I’m sure the media got what it wanted. For us, there hadn’t been but one undefeated team. It sucks, it’s humbling, but to say it’s a wake-up call, we knew we had a lot of adversity and we just didn’t get it done. It just goes back to myself, the offense, in the red zone. We get better there, we win this game. But we’ve got to fix that area, period.”
Two of the Cowboys’ red zone opportunities ended in turnovers, including an interception thrown by Prescott — his first of the season — on their final offensive drive.
The Cowboys will look to get back to their winning ways as they host Elliott and the Patriots in Week 4.