Ezekiel Elliott Says People Should 'Shut Up' About Him Losing a Step

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2017

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs as Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (90) misses the tackle during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott—who led the NFL with 1,631 rushing yards last year but has just 192 through three games this season—doesn't want to hear he's lost a step.

"Shut up," he said Thursday when addressing the notion, per Drew Davison of the Star-Telegram.

Monday's 28-17 victory against the Arizona Cardinals was the first time he's found the end zone this year after scoring 15 times on the ground and once through the air as a rookie. He is also averaging a mere 3.5 yards per carry in 2017 after tallying 5.1 yards per carry last year and had eight yards on nine attempts in Dallas' Week 2 loss to the Denver Broncos.

It is important to point out three games is a small sample size, and all it would take is one monster effort for Elliott to be back on track.

However, Davison pointed to one play in particular from Monday's contest where Elliott bounced to the outside when there appeared to be a vertical seam for him to explode through on the way to the end zone. The Ohio State product still managed 30 yards on the play and said "I think I gained more yards the way I ran it."

Elliott isn't the only one to blame for his slow start. The Cowboys offensive line is not opening the same types of consistent holes it once did and ranks 25th in the league in run blocking, per Football Outsiders. It was fourth last season, judging by the same metrics.

Elliott thinks there are better things to come, though, saying "we've had a little bit of growing pains in the first couple of games, but we're getting there," per Davison.

There is also the notion of a potential suspension looming over his season. As Davison pointed out, Elliott and the players' association are fighting the NFL's six-game suspension in federal court. The league handed out the punishment after it deemed he violated the personal conduct policy following an investigation into 2016 domestic violence allegations.

On the field, Elliott will have an opportunity to bolster his rushing totals in Week 4 against a Los Angeles Rams team that is 29th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game.

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