After a pair of crucial fumbles that resulted in opposition touchdowns in two of the Cowboys' first four games, Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott knows he needs to improve in order for the Cowboys to improve their 1-3 record.
"I think even if it means being a little bit more conservative while you're running, just protecting the ball," he told reporters on Wednesday. "That ball is everything. The fate of the team is that ball. I just got to lock in."
Elliott has three fumbles so far this season, bringing his career total to 18.
When excluding quarterbacks, Elliott has the most fumbles on runs and receptions league-wide with seven, and among 41 players with at least 500 attempts, he has the seventh-worst rate of fumbles, averaging one every 207.3 touches, according to ESPN's Todd Archer.
"It hurts," he said. "I look at myself as a leader of this team and look at myself as a guy that kind of is supposed to help lift the team up when we get down, not be the cause of getting behind. So I just got to get rid of that issue. That can't continue to be something that I do for the rest of the season. I can't give up the ball anymore."
Elliott and the Cowboys are set to square off against the New York Giants on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.