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    Ezekiel Elliott Fires Back at Critics, Talks Importance of Pass Blocking

    After his worst statistical season in 2020, Ezekiel Elliott used the to get into the best shape of his career thanks to Josh Hicks, a local trainer. Using drills to focus speed and agility, Elliott looked quicker and more decisive while carrying the football heading into the , which prompted many to predict a bounce-back campaign for the two-time rushing champion.

    The Cowboy's first opponent was the defending champion . Over the previous two seasons, they've led the NFL in fewest rushing yards per game. This forced the Cowboys to attack mostly through the air and Elliott would only gain 33 yards on just 11 carries. However, a less flashy aspect of his skill set was on display in , pass blocking.

    That didn't stop his critics from downplaying his efforts, but on Wednesday, Elliott fired back.

    “If you know football, you can tell someone had a solid game without having the best statistics,” Elliott said. “If you don't understand that, you should probably study a little more.”

    was masterful against the Buccaneers in his first game in 11 months. He completed 42 of his 58 passes for 403 yards and three touchdowns. From a clean pocket, he was 33 out of 41 for 294 yards and two touchdowns, according to . A major reason for Prescott having the time he had was the exceptional pass blocking of Elliott. He took on blitzing linebackers and all night as Prescott carved up a top-five from a season ago that returned all 11 starters.

    There are other running backs in Elliott's position who may have gotten frustrated with such a lackluster showing on the stat sheet. Elliott is of a different mindset though, and he understands the importance of being a complete running back.

    “Every play I'm given a job. My job is to do my job to the best of its ability,” Elliott said. “I take a lot of pride in being well-rounded. Blitz pickup is big for a running back. You have to keep the safe and untouched.”

    Elliott also talked about how he's hopeful that Prescott's success throwing the football will lead to teams focusing more on the pass and give him more opportunities to run. However, he understands that the flow of the game against the Buccaneers caused a change in the Cowboy's approach offensively.

    “It wears the defense down,” Elliott said. “Playing the run is tough. It's more physical. It's hard to play the run for four quarters. But last week, just, their whole plan was around not letting us run the football and making us throw the ball. I mean, it showed.”

    The Cowboys take on the this Sunday on the road. This will be another big early-season test for . With backup getting the start at in place of who is currently suspended, Elliott could see more carries to offset what the Cowboys may lack in pass protection.

    Although Elliott showed his versatility against the Buccaneers as a pass blocker he's still used to shouldering a big load. He came into this season with over 1,400 carries in his first five seasons, and he's still ready whenever the Cowboys need to feed him the football.

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    “I'm definitely hungry,” Elliott said.

    Rushing yards don't tell the whole story about the effectiveness of a running back. Elliott proved that in Week 1 with a pass-blocking tutorial and validated why the Cowboys signed him to a $90 million deal in 2019.

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    Matthew Lenix
    Matthew Lenixhttps://mlenixsctx.wordpress.com/
    I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.

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    CaLEAFornia

    Prediction: After a slow start, Elliot reaches 2000 all purpose yards for 2021 season.

    VAM

    Let me preface this by saying, IMO, EE was THE BEST RB in the NFL his first three in the league. Unfortunately, last year, and even starting with the year before last, he was just not the same player.

    I understand the injuries to the Oline last year, but regardless, he did not have the burst and long speed he once had. In the Pats game this year, he did not look good, outside of the pass protection.
    Yes PP is important, but he is not getting paid TOP DOLLAR for PP. On that pitch near the goal line, could not make one player miss or run him over. He tried a spin move and was taken down easily by a DB. He hardly makes anyone miss anymore.

    Look, he was GREAT early on in his career, no doubt, and all Cowboy fans would love to see him continue being GREAT. But being realistic, I have doubt we see him at that high level again. Hope I’m wrong. If I’m not wrong, then we may have a RB position by committee situation.

    gary b

    VAM- I don’t think ur wrong. The question is will they play Pollard more if EE still isn’t cutting it. EE is a high paid pet of Jerry’s and i fear they will stubbornly stick with him, despite him looking very ordinary at this point in his career. If our GM wasn’t calling those type of shots, we could just play the best players regardless of contract, past accomplishments or fear of hurting feelings. Pollard is a better player then him, and while he isn’t a bell cow type RB he needs to play more if the cowboys wanna win. It was sad seeing EE make that weak move in the open field with no chance of shaking the DB. He used to be hard to get to the ground, but now he goes down easy. Pollard probably scores on that play.

    Fatfan

    EE is a very average runner. Good he can block; but that is not what the big bucks are for. Put a FB back there, or a H-back; pay someone average money for the job he does. Make room to resign Gallup.

    Trublu4life

    Jarwin does his job EE score he gets paid too

    ThrowuptheX88

    Even though it wasn’t much from Zeke, I liked what I saw from him, he looks a bit quicker than what he has been the last 2 seasons, that said he’s gotta start yielding results, I imagine he’ll start doing that when he isn’t going against arguably the best front D-Line in the NFL, but I guess we’ll see