Some rust was to be expected for Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott after he held out for all of training camp and the preseason, and that is exactly what he said happened during Sunday’s 35-17 season-opening win over the New York Giants.
“I felt about the same. Obviously, I was a little rusty,” Elliott said, per Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. “I didn’t play the best game. I have a lot I can improve on. But that’s going to take time, and it’s about getting more reps and being out there longer.”nfl cheap jerseys nike
The Ohio State product finished with 13 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown, and he added one catch for 10 yards.
Williams noted the Cowboys intentionally limited his workload against the Giants in an effort to avoid soft-tissue injuries upon his return.
The strategy paid off thanks to quarterback Dak Prescott, who finished 25-of-32 for 405 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Dallas receivers consistently found themselves open in the Giants secondary, and Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup each eclipsed the century mark for yardage.
While Dallas didn’t need Elliott at his best to defeat New York, Sunday made clear it will need him as the season progresses. Tony Pollard impressed at times in the preseason, but he struggled on his way to 13 carries for 24 yards in Sunday’s contest.
There was a clear talent dropoff at the position when Elliott was sidelined.nfl nike jerseys for cheap
Fortunately for the Cowboys, Elliott’s track record suggests plenty of production is to come. He has been in the league three years and has already reached two Pro Bowls and led the league in rushing yards two times. One of those times was last season when he finished with 1,434 yards on the ground.
He was still solid even while rusty in Week 1 and only figures to improve as the season continues.