If you thought Ezekiel Elliott struggled last season, the Dallas Cowboys running back agrees with your assessment. Elliott was candid during his Week 6 press conference admitting that he wanted to get into great shape this offseason to atone for his “s*** show” in 2020.
“This year, a lot of it’s about my body, a lot of it was just making sure that you know, I was ready to come and make up for my s*** show last year,” Elliott said with a smile during his October 13 press conference.
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Zeke: ‘Every Year, You Gotta Get Better’
Elliott noted that his improvement was not limited to his play on the field. The Cowboys running back also wanted to develop as a person, emphasizing that other players around the NFL are also getting better.
“I just think that every year you gotta develop as a player, as a person, as a as a leader, as a teammate, as a boyfriend, a brother, everything,” Elliott detailed. “So, every year, you gotta get better. So, if I’m just staying the same from the last year, then I’m not doing my job.”
Through the first five games, Elliott is on pace to crush his production from 2020 notching 85 carries and 452 yards and five touchdowns. Elliott had 244 carries for 979 yards and six touchdowns last season. The Cowboys running back is also averaging 5.3 yards per rush in 2021, a 1.3 yards per carry increase from last season.
Dak Prescott has repeatedly said Elliott looks the best he has in his career this season. Prescott believes Elliott’s increased conditioning has been a big factor in his play in 2021.
“I’ve seen a lot of good Zeke and there’s a lot left to be, so I would say yes just for him being older, him being experienced, him knowing the whole offense,” Prescott told reporters on October 7. “And he could get back there and do the things that I need to do. Mentally, just from the way that he focused and how intelligent of a football player he is, but then you add that into the shape that he’s in everything that he’s put into this offseason. Yeah definitely, and there’s going to be more of those performances to come.”
Elliott Sustained a Rib Injury in Week 5 But Is Expected to Play vs. Patriots
Elliott is dealing with a rib injury after landing awkwardly on the pylon during the Cowboys win over the Giants. The Cowboys running back is expected to play against the Patriots in Week 6.
“Yeah, it definitely hurt, i mean normally I’d get up, at least get off the field, but right there I had to turn out a little bit,” Elliott explained during his October 10 press conference. “But yeah, kind of just stabbed me, lost my wind.”
Elliott has been battling a knee injury throughout the season as well. The Cowboys running back admitted it has prohibited him from getting his normal amount of practice reps.
“Last game, I didn’t really get as much practice reps as I had been getting this this year just because of the knee and going into the game I was a little like, dang, did I get enough reps?” Elliott noted during his Week 6 media session. “You kind of got that going through your head, but he’s gotta [resort] to your training. You gotta trust that that we’ve been working hard enough that I’ve put in enough work.”