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’ Travis Frederick Hoping to Play in 2019
Dallas Cowboys veteran center Travis Frederick believes that he won’t be able to make it back to the field this season, but is holding out hope that he can return to the team next season, saying he feels “very good” about his chances in 2019.
Frederick was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome before the start of the season, causing numbness in both of his arms, among other various symptoms.
“I have certainly made progress, but at this point in the season, having not been able to do my football movements. … Even if I was 100 percent strength wise to be able to come back and play. … I’m still six or eight weeks out from that,” Frederick said, during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan.
Frederick is under contract with Dallas through the 2023 season.
Cowboys’ Amari Cooper Motivated to Prove Cowboys Right
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper is coming off a tremendous performance in the team’s Thanksgiving victory over the Washington Redskins and is motivated to show the Cowboys that they were right in giving up a 1st round pick to acquire him from the Oakland Raiders earlier this season via trade.
“I don’t want to prove the Raiders wrong,” Cooper said, according to Mike Fisher of 247Sports. “I just want to prove the Cowboys right.”
Cooper has certainly left a positive impression on the organization thus far.
“Jack Del Rio told me before we made the trade, he said, ‘Just look at the Kansas City film a year ago,’” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, referencing the former Cowboys player and former Raiders head coach. “We just said to hell with it. We’re not going to do anything but throw him the ball. Just look at that, and that will show you what Amari is like. And so this (game) kind of reminded me a little of what (Del Rio) was trying to say.
Cooper has 22 catches for 349 yards and three touchdowns during his stint in Dallas.
Cowboys’ Tyron Smith Expected To Return Next Week
The Dallas Cowboys will be getting a big boost to their offensive line as they anticipate the return of offensive tackle Tyron Smith, who is projected to return to the field for next week’s game against the New Orleans Saints, according to The Athletic’s Calvin Watkins.
Smith suffered what is being called a “stinger” during last week’s win over the Atlanta Falcons.
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