Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is heading into the 2018 regular season with a chip on his shoulder and a desire to prove that he is the best running back in the entire National Football League.
Elliott’s teammates have noticed a difference.
“Just how hard he was running, how far he was running every play, the amount of reps he was taking, I mean, just everything was kicked up a notch,” Cowboys right guard Zack Martin said, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer. “I think he’s gotten himself in very good shape and is ready to take a lot of the load there.”
Elliott points to a renewed focus.
“I think it’s just my focus,” Elliott said. “I’m definitely going into this year with a chip on my shoulder, and I think I have a lot to prove. I was more focused and ready to go out there and prove what I can do on the field.”
“I would never say last year I wasn’t engaged with the game,” Elliott said. “I did a great job of checking my s–t at the door. It is a lot more stress-free, though. I would say that.”
“I want to prove I’m the best back in the game,” Elliott proclaimed. “That’s what my focus this offseason was.”
“As athletes, we need to go out and be true to ourselves first and prove we belong on that elite level,” Cowboys’ running backs coach Gary Brown said. “Being that he didn’t win the rushing title, he didn’t do the things, achieve the goals that he wanted to that he set for himself, he has a reason to go out and prove to himself again that he is worthy of being in that conversation.”
“He’s been working really hard to get ready,” Brown said. “He’s been doing extra running. He’s been taking more carries then he ever has in practice. So we all believe he’s ready to go.”
“We’ve faced eight-, nine-, 10-man fronts every week since I got here. I don’t know how many more guys they can throw in the box,” Elliott said. “I mean, just go back and watch the film. Go back and watch the games. Guys don’t play two-high, they play single-high. They bring an extra safety in the box, and if they don’t bring an extra safety in the box, then we punish them. … I mean, yeah, there’s going to be more focus, I believe, on me, but I mean, I just don’t understand how you could say we’re going to throw more guys in the box. There’s only 11 guys on the field, and they’re already putting as many as they can in there. So I mean, it’ll be our 11 vs. theirs.”
Elliott is ready for a major workload this season.
“I’m young. Got fresh legs. I’m going to grind it out,” Elliott said. “There’s no pacing. Every week in the NFL matters. If they want to give it to me 30, 35 times a game, I’ll take that.”
Cowboys Sign Darian Thompson
Thompson, a former third round pick of the New York Giants back in 2016, started in all 16 games for the Giants in 2017 but was hampered by a nagging hamstring injury over the summer, leading the team’s decision to cut him during final roster trim downs.
Cowboys Sign C.J. Goodwin
Goodwin, 28 spent the offseason with the Cincinnati Bengals but failed to make the final roster during cut downs ahead of the start of the regular season. Goodwin projects to serve as the Cowboys’ fifth corner.
Cowboys May Place Travis Frederick on Injured Reserve
Frederick, 27, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome before the start of the season and was not placed on injured reserve by the team as they were holding out hope that Frederick could return prior to Week 8.
Frederick is a 4-time Pro Bowler and was reportedly still experiencing numbness in both arms in early September, further jeopardizing his chances of returning this season.
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