FRISCO, Texas — Play 7 towards the Philadelphia Eagles confirmed what Ezekiel Elliott means to the Dallas Cowboys.

Lined up Eight yards deep within the backfield, Elliott took a handoff from Dak Prescott and instantly noticed Eagles security Malcolm Jenkins in his path 5 yards downfield. So targeted was Elliott that he knew the fast-charging linebacker to his proper wouldn’t be a difficulty.

As Elliott ran, Jenkins braced for the collision, ducking low. Elliott lowered his shoulder, bowling over Jenkins on his solution to the tip zone. Replay negated Elliott’s 14-yard landing run, however he scored on the subsequent play anyway to present the Cowboys a commanding 14-Zero lead on their solution to a 37-10 win.

If the Cowboys (5-3) are going to make it again to the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the primary time since 2006 and 2007, they may achieve this on the legs of Elliott. As efficient as Prescott and the passing sport have been this season, Elliott stays the focus of the Cowboys’ plan.

‘Angle run’

There isn’t any solution to measure what Elliott’s 13-yard run towards the Eagles meant, however to the Cowboys it was a lot extra.

“It is an perspective run,” Cowboys proper guard Zack Martin mentioned. “It brings life to the entire group. The protection sees that on the sidelines. We see that. It brings life and vitality to our group.”

In Monday’s 37-18 win towards the New York Giants, it was extra of the identical. Elliott ran for a season-high 139 yards on 23 carries. It was his fifth 100-yard speeding sport of the season and third straight.

“I imply that was the simplest 140 yards I ever gained,” Elliott mentioned. “I do not actually know if I broke a deal with. I simply ran contained in the scheme and people guys simply mauled them up entrance. Because of them for making it simple on me {today}. Gotta love the massive fellas.”

Elliott, 24, is sixth within the NFL in speeding with 741 yards on 158 carries, placing him 153 yards behind league-leader Dalvin Cook dinner, whom the Cowboys will play Sunday after they tackle the Minnesota Vikings at AT&T Stadium (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC).

Cook dinner has performed yet another sport than Elliott. So have Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette, who’s third within the league in speeding (831 yards), and Chris Carson of the Seattle Seahawks, who’s fifth. Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey (second, 881 yards) and Cleveland’s Nick Chubb (fourth, 803) have performed eight video games, like Elliott.

It is troublesome to do not forget that Elliott missed all of coaching camp in a contract holdout.

“Zeke has performed nicely from the outset of his profession. He is performed nicely from the outset of the season,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett mentioned. “Generally, individuals wish to say, ‘It is a development,’ or ‘That could be a development.’ He is a man we give a whole lot of duty to and usually responds and performs very nicely, handles it at a excessive stage, he is definitely executed that for us.”

Elliott ‘has to work his manner in’

Earlier than the Giants’ sport, Elliott described his season as “strong.”

“I may positively choose it up some extra,” he mentioned.

If there’s one space Elliott may “choose it up” in, it’s within the explosive runs.

Elliott has just one carry of 20 yards or extra this season, a 27-yarder towards the Inexperienced Bay Packers. He has gone 189 carries and not using a 20-yarder. As a rookie in 2016, he had 14 carries of a minimum of 20 yards. In 2017, he had 5 however missed six video games due to a suspension. Final season, he had 11.

He has just one carry of 40 yards since his rookie season when he had three.

“They have not come this 12 months but as a result of Zeke’s nonetheless moving into soccer, not form, however he did not have all camp and it is completely different,” Cowboys operating backs coach Gary Brown mentioned. “Individuals have to know he missed all of that, you understand what I imply? So that you can assume or anyone to assume he’ll be the identical Zeke will not be honest. He has to work his manner in. It is taken slightly longer, however belief me, it would occur. It is going to occur.”

Play four towards the New York Jets in Week 6 was a type of “inches away,” runs Brown was speaking about. Within the gamebook, it is a 12-yard run, but when Elliott confirmed just a bit extra persistence in permitting a pulling Travis Frederick to get to security Marcus Maye, he may have had a 75-yard first-quarter landing run, maybe altering the tone of what changed into a shocking loss for the Cowboys.

“If he lets Travis do his job and get on the DB, he may’ve went outdoors or inside, it would not have made a distinction,” Brown mentioned. “What occurred was he obtained impatient and the DB is at all times going to be extra athletic than the middle and all he did was fall inside and get him. Now if Zeke stays with him and lets Travis get on the DB, we’re speaking landing. … If you do not know what you are {looking} at, you may say, ‘Nicely, he does not have the identical burst.’ Nicely, no. He did not give it an opportunity to develop.”

In opposition to the Giants, he was alone towards a security and unable to interrupt a long term on a number of events.

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