Ezekiel Elliott took the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL world by storm in 2016. The former Ohio State Buckeye led the NFL with 1,631 rushing yards and was the driving force of the Cowboy's 13-3 record and securing the top seed in the NFC playoffs.
He followed it up with two more excellent seasons. Despite a six-game suspension in 2017, Elliott led the NFL in rushing yards per game (98.3) and his 1,434 yards a year later won him his second rushing title. However, despite finishing fourth in rushing yards (1,357), fourth in rushing touchdowns (12), second in all-purpose yards (1,777), and first in 100-yard games (7) in 2019, the rumblings of Elliott's demise began to surface.
Elliott had a career-high six fumbles, tied a career-low with only six rushing touchdowns, and had his lowest rushing total of 979 yards in 2020. Granted, his offensive line was ravaged with injuries and Dak Prescott missed 11 games, which probably made him press too much, the talks of Elliott being among the best in the game at the running back position have become a distant memory, and he's been on a mission this offseason to get his respect back.
Back in March, a video surfaced of Elliott working on his agility with trainer J. Hicks with teammates Tony Pollard and Sewo Olonilua in attendance. The two-time rushing champ hasn't slowed down since and looks leaner and quicker as he attempts to bounce back from the worst season of his career.
Last month, Elliott was seen once again putting in work with Hicks, doing drills to improve his cutting ability and quickness. Also, he worked on absorbing contact and maintaining his balance.
In the last few days, it's been more of the same as Elliott looks every explosive and agile running with the football.
We Just Crafting Right Now!!!! @EzekielElliott #The3Way pic.twitter.com/XytUa3wwwr
— J.Hicks (@3hunnidGuru) April 15, 2021
Cut Game About to Be Wicked 😈@EzekielElliott pic.twitter.com/2a5eIhWSW9
— J.Hicks (@3hunnidGuru) May 4, 2021
I know many will say “It's not a real game and he's just doing drills” and blah blah blah. Indeed, it doesn't matter until the real games start. However, seeing Elliott continuously putting in the work to validate his $90 million dollar contract is an encouraging sight to see. Remember, Elliott is just 25 years old (26 when the season starts) and has plenty of football left to play. With this type of work ethic coupled with a healthy offensive line (let's hope) and the return of Prescott, we could see a resurgence of Elliott's career.
Despite his struggles in 2020 Elliott's 2,336 rushing yards over the last two seasons ranked fourth in the NFL trailing only Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, and Nick Chubb.
Elliott is putting everyone on notice that he hears all the chatter that he's fallen off, and it's fueling him to turn back the clock and dominate like years past.