Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones defended running back Ezekiel Elliott while acknowledging Elliott was one of many Cowboys players who didn't exert 100 percent effort at times during Sunday's 42-17 defeat to the Denver Broncos.
Many pointed out Elliott did little to pursue Broncos cornerback Chris Harris after Harris intercepted a Dak Prescott pass in the third quarter.
In an interview with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas (h/t USA Today's Scott Gleeson), Jones thought the lack of effort extended across the offense:
"I think if you look at everybody's reaction to that interception, certainly on that interception, if you really look at several Dallas Cowboys players on that interception you saw what would not be the case in a closely contested ball game. I think you can point to Zeke, but you really have to look at the general effort to chase that ball down by most of the people that were on the field. Dak now, of course, gave it everything he had to try to contain that interception, but still you look at it across the board and you'll see that you need more effort than what you see."
Elliott finished the game with eight yards on nine carries and caught four passes for 14 yards, and his reaction to Harris' interception encapsulated what was a day to forget for all involved with the Cowboys.
The MMQB's Peter King criticized Elliott for what he called a "stunning lack of effort," and Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson said the 2016 All-Pro "absolutely quit on his team" (h/t the Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota).
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was also critical of Elliott and said he and Elliott will "have to get [that] addressed," per ESPN.com's Todd Archer.
Despite being handed a six-game suspension by the NFL following an investigation into domestic violence allegations, Elliott was eligible to play Sunday after a federal judge granted him an injunction. The NFL filed an appeal shortly thereafter, but Elliott will remain eligible until the case is resolved.