Ezekiel Elliott has had a challenging season. Since Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers, he's dealt with a sore knee that has required him to wear a brace for stability. Elliott has been seen with a noticeable limp at times, but despite that, he registered his fourth 1,000-yard campaign in six seasons.
The NFL playoffs kick off this weekend and the Dallas Cowboys will host the San Francisco 49ers making it the eighth matchup between the two in the postseason. The 49ers have a stout run defense, but the Cowboys are the ninth-ranked rushing offense so it will be a test of strength on strength.
If Elliott can have a good performance it could be the catalyst for the Cowboys to play ball-control offense and dictate the pace of the game, and Elliott recently mentioned that his knee is ready to go for the task at hand.
“I feel good. The knee feels solid, not really getting any stiffness out of it,” Elliott said.
Elliott was 85 yards away from reaching 1,000 yards heading into the Cowboys season finale with the Philadelphia Eagles. He put on a gritty performance with continuously four and five-yard gains and picked up 87 yards on 18 carries.
The important thing was how much more comfortable and confident Elliott looked running the football. However, he's still going to wear a brace on his knee to be on the safe side.
“It's worked up to this point,” Elliott said.
The Cowboys haven't had much success in the playoffs since Elliott came into the NFL in 2016. They've gone 1-2, however, Elliott has averaged 103 yards a game on 4.5 yards per carry with two performances of 125 yards or more.
Elliott's postseason numbers have been a continuation of how he performed in big games at Ohio State. Elliott ran for 230 yards and two touchdowns in a win against Alabama in the 2015 Sugar Bowl and followed it up with 246 yards and four touchdowns against Oregon to help the Buckeyes win the national championship. Also, Elliott finished his collegiate career with 149 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Notre Dame in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl.
The two-time rushing champ lives for the big stage and he recognizes the importance of performing well when those opportunities present themselves.
“These big moments, this is where you got to have your best performances,” Elliott said. “These moments like this are what your career is remembered as. This is where you leave your legacy.”
Will Elliott put together another big playoff performance? The world will find out on Sunday.