Cowboys Set to Give RB Ezekiel Elliott ‘Time Off’: Report

Ezekiel Elliott Cowboys

Getty The Cowboys may sit Ezekiel Elliott as he recovers from a knee injury.

The Dallas Cowboys could change up their strategy after all when it comes to Ezekiel Elliott.

According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, the Cowboys could give Elliott time off to heal up his lingering knee injury. That would including possibly sitting out the Pro Bowl running back for next week’s game versus the New Orleans Saints.

“Source: Cowboys will consider providing running back Ezekiel Elliott time off to heal from the knee injury he’s been managing, including the possibility of holding him out of next Thursday night’s game in New Orleans, according to a source,” says Werder. “IR not believed a consideration.”

Elliott has dealt with the knee injury throughout the 2021 season, but re-aggravated the injury last Sunday versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite the injury persisting — and only a four-year recovery period — Elliott played through the ailment in the Cowboys’ loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving day.

However, it was clear that Elliott wasn’t at full strength. Not only did backup running back Tony Pollard outpace in Elliott in total carries — 10 carries to Elliott’s nine — he almost had as many total offensive touches as the starting running back (14 touches to Elliott’s 15 for the game).

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Cowboys’ Other Possible Game Plan

If the Cowboys utilize this strategy, it would be in contrast to an earlier report on Friday, November 26, from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. According to Rapoport, the Cowboys could flip Pollard and Elliott’s roles — with the former receiving the brunt of the work.

“This knee injury, bone bruise in his knee, is something that’s going to linger all season,” says Rapoport. “Unless they step in and basically take Zeke off the field, it seems like it’s something that he’s going to play with.

Just listening to Jerry Jones after the game. They’re going to alter the game plan a little bit because of Zeke’s injury. May have to get as, Jones mentioned, Tony Pollard 25 or so touches. May have to flip the roles a little bit just because Zeke is not himself.

We’ll see if he can get out to a point where he is healthy enough where we don’t notice his knee. But until they have a long enough break, we’re simply not there yet.”

Elliott’s Knee Injury Clearly Affecting Production

It’s clear that Elliott’s production has declined without proper rest to his knee. Prior to Thursday’s game versus the Raiders, Elliott had averaged 90.4 rushing yards per game on 5.3 yards per carry over the first five contests.

In the five games after, Elliott averaged just 48.6 yards per game on 3.7 yards per carry.

Meanwhile, Pollard has shown more and more of his big-play ability, including a monster 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown versus the Raiders. Over the course of season, Pollard has run for 531 yards on 100 carries (5.3 yards per carry). That’s also clearly better than Elliott’s 4.5 yards per carry on the season.

As tough as it may be considering the Cowboys have lost three of their past four games, Dallas may have to rest their star running back to preserve him over the important stretch of the season.

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