Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys
Running Back #21
Dallas Cowboys
Running Back #21
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Ezekiel Elliott News

'Looks great' during workouts

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Friday that Elliot (knee) "looks great" during Dallas' offseason workouts, Jon Machota of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Elliot played through a partially torn PCL during the 2021 campaign, but he's expected to be fully healthy by training camp. McCarthy added that the veteran running back was clocked at 22 MPH during a workout Tuesday, but the team hasn't been doing any contact drills. After struggling the last two years, a healthy offseason could bode well for a potential bounce-back season from Elliott in 2022.

May 13, 2022 1:00 PM EST

Plays through knee injury in 2021

Elliott said after Sunday's 23-17 wild-card loss to the 49ers that he played through a partially torn PCL during the 2021 season, David Helman of the Cowboys' official site reports.

Analysis: After doing just enough Week 18 to surpass 1,000 rushing yards for the fourth time in six pro campaigns, Elliott didn't fare as well in Dallas' sole playoff game, eking out 31 yards on 12 carries and gathering in one of four targets for no yards. Game script played a role in his lack of touches, as the Cowboys were in catch-up mode for much of the contest, forcing Dak Prescott to go to the air 44 times. Afterward, Elliott provided an update on his health, which was reflected on injury reports for much of the season, first in Week 5 and then again Weeks 10-18. However, he didn't miss a game and doesn't expect to require surgery on his knee. Knowing that, Elliott should be back to full health by the start of the offseason program.

Jan 16, 2022 5:38 PM EST

Increased workload in finale

Elliott rushed 18 times for 87 yards and caught one of three targets for three yards in Saturday's 51-26 win over the Eagles.

Analysis: Elliott garnered his most carries since Week 5, as running mate Tony Pollard was unavailable due to a foot injury. With his increased workload, Elliott also racked up his most rushing yardage since Week 5, with Saturday actually being the first time he's topped 70 yards on the ground since then as well. Although he didn't find the end zone in Dallas' blowout win and wasn't very involved in the passing game, Elliott's performance still saw him surpass 1,000 rushing yards on the campaign, sending him into the playoffs fresh off a notable personal accomplishment.

Jan 8, 2022 8:22 PM EST

May not play much Saturday

Elliott may have a smaller workload than normal Saturday at Philadelphia, Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Analysis: With Tony Pollard (foot) not traveling with the Cowboys for this Week 18 NFC East matchup, Elliott was the name running back to make the trip. However, the team elevated JaQuan Hardy and Ito Smith from the practice squad Saturday, indicating Elliott may take a step back or not have a role at all in the regular-season finale. If the preceding comes to pass, Corey Clement could lead Dallas' backfield, with Hardy and Smith available for any reps that linger.

Jan 8, 2022 1:40 PM EST

Shut down by Cards

Elliott carried the ball nine times for 16 yards and caught one of two targets for 14 yards in Sunday's 25-22 loss to the Cardinals.

Analysis: The Cowboys' ground game was stuffed all day by the Cards, as Dak Prescott wound up leading Dallas in rushing with only 20 yards. Unlike Tony Pollard however, who racked up 49 receiving yards, Elliott couldn't get anything going through the air either. The poor performance leaves him 85 rushing yards short of his fourth career season with 1,000, and given that Dallas won't have much to play for in Week 18 against Philadelphia, Elliott may not get many touches to go after the milestone.

Jan 2, 2022 9:06 PM EST

Scores twice in blowout win

Elliott rushed nine times for 37 yards and a touchdown and caught his lone target for five yards and another score in Sunday's 56-14 win over Washington.

Analysis: Elliott got the Cowboys on the board on the team's first drive of the game, and he chipped in another score in the first half before basically taking the second half off in a crooked matchup. The 26-year-old has seen his production dip in the second half while battling injuries and losing some touches to Tony Pollard. Luckily for the tailback's fantasy managers, he has maintained value as a starter in standard formats by scoring four combined touchdowns over the last five weeks. Elliott and the rest of the Dallas offense should be plenty rested against the Cardinals next Sunday after cruising to such an easy win in Week 16.

Dec 26, 2021 9:20 PM EST

Records 19 touches in win

Elliott rushed 16 times for 52 yards and a touchdown and brought in three of four targets for 20 yards in the Cowboys' 21-6 win over the Giants on Sunday.

Analysis: Elliott's 13-yard scoring scamper in the first quarter served as the first points of the afternoon and qualified as his first trip to the end zone since Week 12 against the Raiders. The multi-time Pro Bowler still couldn't come close to breaking the 60-yard mark on the ground, however, a feat he surprisingly hasn't accomplished since Week 6 against the Patriots. Elliott's next opportunity to boost his yardage levels back up comes in a tough matchup against a stingy Washington run defense in Week 16.

Dec 19, 2021 1:41 PM EST

Mediocre numbers again

Elliott ran for 45 yards on 12 carries and caught one pass for 15 yards on six targets against Washington on Sunday.

Analysis: Elliott played with a knee brace in this game, which ESPN reporter Todd Archer suspected was a first for Elliott in the 2021 season despite several weeks now of managing the knee discomfort. Elliott has been a trooper playing hurt in a crucial role for the Cowboys, but it increasingly appears that the knee limitation has meaningfully hindered Elliott's effectiveness. The Cowboys limited the hits on Elliott by giving Corey Clement 13 carries to Elliott's 12 in this game, which hopefully will give Elliott the chance to progress in his recovery and capitalize on an otherwise favorable Week 15 matchup against the Giants.

Dec 12, 2021 1:52 PM EST

Could get larger role Week 14

Elliott may be in store for an elevated role on offense Sunday against Washington with top backup Tony Pollard (foot) inactive for the contest, Jori Epstein of USA Today reports.

Analysis: Elliott is already entrenched as Dallas' starting running back, but he hasn't played more than 70 percent of the offensive snaps in any of the Cowboys' last five contests while averaging 15.0 touches per game over that stretch. Dallas has been deliberately managing Elliott's reps while he continues to deal with a lingering bone bruise in his right knee, allowing Pollard to take on an expanded change-of-pace role in recent weeks. However, with Pollard having suffered a torn plantar fascia in his left foot in last week's win over the Saints, he'll be sidelined for at least one game, paving the way for Elliott to potentially take on a more expanded role. Neither of the healthy depth options behind Elliott -- Corey Clement and practice squad call-up JaQuan Hardy -- have had much involvement on offense this season, so the Cowboys seem unlikely to tab either player to directly inherit Pollard's role. If the Cowboys are still eager to manage Elliott's reps, it's possible that head coach Mike McCarthy may opt for a more pass-heavy game plan featuring more four-receiver or two-tight end sets.

Dec 12, 2021 9:14 AM EST

Puts in full practice Wednesday

Elliott (knee) practiced fully Wednesday, David Helman of the Cowboys' official site reports.

Analysis: Last Friday, coach Mike McCarthy relayed Elliott has been operating under a rep count for the last month as the team manages the knee issue he picked up back in Week 4. When the Cowboys opened Week 14 prep Wednesday, he was seen on a stationary bike at the start of practice, while Tony Pollard worked with the training staff on the side, according to Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News. Ultimately, Pollard didn't participate due to a foot injury, and Elliott logged every rep. Elliott later told Gehlken that his knee should be back to 100 percent in 3-to-4 weeks, but with Pollard now hurt the former may be in store for a bigger workload with the latter's availability now in question. Behind Elliott and Pollard, Corey Clement is the other running back on the active roster.

Dec 8, 2021 1:00 PM EST

Facing restricted rep count

Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy acknowledged Friday that Elliott has been on a rep count in games for the past month while the running back continues to manage a knee injury that first cropped up Week 4, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports. "It's part of how we want to play," McCarthy said, while also noting that he believes the Cowboys' 10-day break prior to the team's Week 14 game against Washington will be beneficial for Elliott, according to Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News.

Analysis: Elliott's restricted snap counts have been evident just by looking at his recent game logs. Including Thursday's 27-17 win over the Saints, Elliott hasn't played more than 70 percent of the Cowboys' offensive snaps in five straight games, after topping that percentage in all but two of Dallas' first seven contests. The decline in snaps has come with a small downturn in touches (16.9 carries and 3.7 targets per game Weeks 1 through 8, 11.0 carries and 4.6 targets Weeks 9 through 13), allowing Tony Pollard to take on a more heightened role in the game plan. Though the longer turnaround for the Cowboys' Week 14 divisional matchup is welcome, McCarthy didn't promise that Elliott would be in store for an uptick in snaps and touches. In fact, given that Elliott is averaging a woeful 3.2 yards per carry over the past four games compared to Pollard's 5.7 YPC during that stretch, it wouldn't be surprising if the latter took on more volume in the weeks to come as Dallas looks to lock up a playoff spot.

Dec 3, 2021 1:37 PM EST

Tough sledding on ground in win

Elliott rushed 13 times for 45 yards and brought in two of three targets for three yards in the Cowboys' 27-17 win over the Saints on Thursday night.

Analysis: There have been rumblings about ongoing knee stiffness for Elliott, but his lack of success on the ground Thursday can almost certainly be attributed to the Saints' elite run defense more than anything else. The multi-time Pro Bowler gained 10 of his yards on one carry, leaving him just under 3.0 yards per tote on his other 12 attempts. Elliott saw backfield mate Tony Pollard log six fewer rushes yet gain 26 additional yards thanks to a 58-yard touchdown run, but the former should continue helming the ground attack against Washington's ornery defensive front in a Week 14 road matchup a week from Sunday.

Dec 2, 2021 9:07 PM EST

More touches on deck

Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that he expects Elliott to handle a "serious load" of opportunities during Thursday's game against the Saints, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports.

Analysis: Elliott has managed knee stiffness since Week 4, but he was a full participant at practice Monday. Dallas has recently opted to manage Elliott's workload, resulting in back-to-back games in which the star running back failed to tally double-digit carries, but it looks like he will see more work against New Orleans' stout defensive front Thursday night. Through the first seven contests of the season, Elliott averaged an outstanding 19.7 touches per game.

Nov 30, 2021 6:54 AM EST

In clear for Week 13

Elliott (knee) was a full participant in Monday's practice, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports.

Analysis: Elliott's ability to take every rep in the Cowboys' first official Week 13 practice clears the way for him to start Thursday's game against the Saints, but that doesn't mean the 26-year-old will be in store for his normal role. According to Nick Eatman of the Cowboys' official site, Elliott acknowledged that the knee injury has been bothering him since an Oct. 3 game against the Panthers. While he has no plans to sit out games to fully heal up from the injury, Elliott acknowledged that his workload could become managed more carefully in the contests to come. The Cowboys have already been doing that to some degree over the past four games, as Elliott hasn't played more than 70 percent of the snaps in any of those contests while averaging 15 touches. In his preceding seven appearances, Elliott topped 70 percent of the snaps on five occasions and averaged 19.7 touches per game.

Nov 29, 2021 2:06 PM EST

No intention of resting knee

Elliott indicated Sunday that no one on the Cowboys' training or coaching staffs had approached him about sitting out a game to give his knee a chance to heal, Nick Eatman of DallasCowboys.com reports. "No one has come to me and asked me to rest," Elliott said. "If they bring it up to me, I've just got to go with what they think is best for the team, and leave it at that."

Analysis: The running back originally injured his knee in Week 4 against the Panthers, but he tweaked it in Week 11 against Kansas City and his rushing performance has noticeably declined since. There had been talk Elliott might be inactive for Thursday's game against the Saints' top-ranked run defense, but if the Cowboys are considering such a plan they apparently haven't shared it with Zeke. Assuming he does suit up against New Orleans, look for him to see a reduced workload once again, with Tony Pollard picking up the slack -- Elliott hasn't had 20 touches in a game since Week 8.

Nov 29, 2021 6:26 AM EST

Could get time off to heal

Elliott could be held out to rest his knee injury, with possibilities including an absence from the upcoming Thursday game in New Orleans in Week 13, Ed Werder of ESPN reports.

Analysis: He's been managing the injury for most of the season and still managed at least 49 percent snap share and 13 touches in every game, including the past two weeks when he fell shy of double-digit carries (barely) for the first two times all year. It sounds like Elliott's capable of playing through the injury but might benefit from rest, leaving the Cowboys in a tricky position as they prepare for the final six weeks of the regular season and a likely playoff run. If nothing else, they could give more of Elliott's snaps to backup Tony Pollard, who already has career highs for rushing and receiving yards. The Cowboys wouldn't sacrifice too much by holding Elliott out for a week or two (as long as Pollard stays healthy), but it remains to be seen what they'll do, and it ultimately may depend on how Elliott's knee feels from day to day or week to week.

Nov 26, 2021 3:10 PM EST

Finds end zone Thursday

Elliott carried the ball nine times for 25 yards and a touchdown and caught six of eight targets for 24 yards in a 36-33 overtime loss to the Raiders on Thanksgiving.

Analysis: The running back's knee clearly wasn't 100 percent, and Tony Pollard wound up seeing more carries and leading the Cowboys in rushing yards, but Elliott vultured a one-yard TD from his backup just before halftime after Pollard did most of the work on the drive that got the offense to the goal line. With extra time to rest up before a Week 13 clash with the Saints, Elliott could be able to handle something closer to his usual workload, but Pollard's performance -- which included a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown -- should keep him involved in the game plan.

Nov 25, 2021 10:21 PM EST

Bumps up practice activity

Elliott (knee) was listed as a full participant Tuesday on Dallas' practice report, Rob Phillips of the Cowboys' official site reports.

Analysis: Though Dallas merely held a light workout Tuesday that head coach Mike McCarthy described as a "run-through," Elliott apparently would have taken full reps if the Cowboys held a more traditional practice session. Elliott's activity seemingly clears up any concern about his status for the Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day game against the Raiders, and the running back himself relayed Tuesday that his right knee has shown improvement since he aggravated a lingering bone bruise in Sunday's loss to the Chiefs, per Jon Machota of The Athletic. Though Elliott doesn't plan to rest for any games while he manages the injury, the Cowboys could look to scale back his workloads to some degree, especially while No. 2 back Tony Pollard continues to excel with his opportunities.

Nov 23, 2021 1:36 PM EST

Estimated as limited participant

The Cowboys listed Elliott as a limited participant on Monday's estimated practice report with a knee injury, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports.

Analysis: Though Dallas didn't hold an official practice as it begins Week 12 prep, the team's estimation of Elliott as a limited participant is a reassuring sign of his chances of being ready to go by the time Thursday's game against the Raiders arrives. Elliott's knee injury -- which he sustained in the first half of Sunday's 19-9 loss when his leg got caught under a Chiefs defender -- is believed to be an aggravation of the one he initially picked up in Dallas' Week 9 loss to Denver. Even if Elliott is able to show enough improvement to avoid taking an injury designation into the Thanksgiving Day matchup, it's possible the Dallas coaching staff looks to monitor his workload and have No. 2 back Tony Pollard take on a more pronounced role in the game plan.

Nov 22, 2021 2:19 PM EST

Aggravates knee injury Sunday

Elliott carried the ball nine times for 32 yards and caught all six of his targets for 36 yards in Sunday's 19-9 loss to Kansas City, but he briefly left the game with a lower-body injury, Jon Machota of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: While he tied for the team lead in receptions, Tony Pollard led the team in rushing yards and Elliott left the game after getting his leg trapped under a tackler along the sidelines in the first half. He was able to return to action, however, and Zeke didn't seem concerned about the injury affecting his availability for a Thanksgiving Day clash with the Raiders, per Machota. "Just the same knee, the same knee injury I've been dealing with. It's feeling better, but I rolled up on it, and kind of hurt it. Overall, it's definitely getting better," Elliott said after the game. With Amari Cooper (COVID-19) already ruled out for Thursday and CeeDee Lamb suffering a concussion in Sunday's loss, Dallas can ill afford to lose their star running back as well.

Nov 21, 2021 8:17 PM EST

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