Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliot still feels he has ‘something to prove’ after injury hampered season

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliot still feels he has ‘something to prove’ after injury hampered season

Just four weeks into the 2021 season, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot suffered what later turned out to be a partially torn PCL in his knee, an injury that would have ended many players’ seasons. .

But Elliot forged ahead, playing through the pain for the rest of the season and into the playoffs, posting numbers that might not have lived up to his usual level, but were still exceptional given the circumstances.

Asked how difficult it is to play every week with such an injury, the 26-year-old said only that he thought it was exactly what was expected in football and that he had never considered stay seated.

“I mean, I got hurt last year, but that’s football, after Week 1 nobody’s going to be 100%. That’s part of the game,” Elliot said after Dallas OTA workouts Thursday. “I think I knew I was tough, I think I knew I could play through the injuries…it was really tough, but hey, that’s my job.”

Even despite the injury, Elliot still started every game for the Cowboys, including Dallas’ Wild Card Round loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He had 1,002 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, adding 287 additional yards and two touchdowns through the air. He finished with the seventh-most rushing yards and tied for seventh in the league in rushing touchdowns.

For many other running backs around the NFL, this would be a career year. But not Elliot.

The former first-round pick consistently played at such a high level in his six years in the league, rushing for over 900 yards each season and over 1,300 in three of them, that he still has the feeling that he still has to prove himself this year. after not playing in full last year.

“I think every year we have something to prove,” Elliott said.

And his continued dedication to the team has not gone unnoticed, as guard Zack Martin says the whole team recognizes how far Elliot has been willing to go in recent years in order to contribute to a team that has grown. often found in difficulty due to injuries.

“He’s a bulldog,” Martin said. “He loves this team and he gives his all for this team. The last two years, it shows. Think back to 2020. Half of the attack is over and Zeke is still there to carry the ball 20 times a year. game. So we have a lot of love in this team for Zeke, and we’re excited to get him back in the right direction.”

At this point in the offseason, Elliot appears to be well on his way to reclaiming his old position as one of the top running backs. After a few months of rehabilitation, the PCL injury healed completely and trainer Mike McCarthy even claimed that Elliot was clocked at 22mph during a recent workout. Elliot dismissed McCarthy’s words as an exaggeration, but a healthy Ezekiel Elliot would be a dangerous tool for a Cowboys offense looking to recover and return to the playoffs.

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