The Cowboys signed running back Ezekiel Elliott to a six-year, $90 million extension before the start of the last season, which at the time made him the highest-paid running back in the NFL.
His play hasn’t fully lived up to the contract thus far, but owner Jerry Jones said Friday morning on his radio show on 105.3 The Fan that he still believes in Elliott.
Jones was asked about Elliott’s inability to allude tacklers in open space, and if the team is concerned with his performance after nine games.
“He’s our best football player. He’s our best one,” Jones said, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “I know the impact he has on opposing defenses. I know what I see him do relative to the king of thing he brings to football. His physicalness, his enthusiasm, his ability innate – he’s our best football player. Having said that, we’ve just got to have more chances to expose him to the defense, and we’re going to do that.”
When asked if he was saying Elliott was their best player or the team’s best running back, Jones said, “in my mind, he’s our best player.”
Elliott has 572 rushing yards through nine games this season, which comes out to 3.8 yards (career low) per carry. He has scored six total touchdowns, but all came in the first five games. In the last four games, Elliott has topped 60 yards rushing just once. He does not have a 100-yard game this season, and has fumbled five times, losing four.
The season has been tough on Dallas and not all the blame can go on Elliott. The Cowboys have started four different quarterbacks over their last five games. Their offensive line has used 10 different combinations and six different starting lineups.
“I’m more worried about us winning football games,” Elliott said this week. “I could care less about individual achievements and stats right now. … My main focus right now is just trying to win a football game.”
The Cowboys are scheduled to face the Vikings on Sunday. Andy Dalton is expected to make his return and start at quarterback.
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