Around the NFL  

 

Cowboys not concerned about Ezekiel Elliott's fumbles

Print

Ezekiel Elliott set a career high with 83 rushing yards on 21 carries, including an impressive 21-yard tote and a TD plunge.

Two fumbles overshadowed Elliott's workhorse game.

The first came on a strip in Washington territory (a brilliant play by corner Josh Norman) that led to a Redskins go-ahead field goal. Before Dallas' eventual game-winning touchdown, Elliott fumbled again, but Doug Free dove on the ball, saving the rookie from potential disaster.

For all the good Elliott did Sunday, the focus after the win was on the the fumbles.

"It really doesn't matter what I did," Elliott said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I had those two fumbles, and that's what was important."

The Cowboys benched the rookie after the second fumble. Alfred Morris played the final 6:56 and earned the game-winning touchdown versus his former team.

The Dallas brass all said they believe the fumbling issue for Elliott won't be a problem moving forward.

"Obviously you have to protect the football," coach Jason Garrett said. "That's line one in football, and certainly line one for a running back. He'll learn from the experiences."

"Zeke does a lot for us, he actually opens it up for us out there," Jerry Jones said. "We will take more advantage of it. Zeke is influencing very much the defenses we play. It was unfortunate that he had those back-to-back (fumbles), but boy he finishes hard. He runs hard, those are collisions out there. He's making a lot of that happen so you get those."

Added Stephen Jones: "Obviously he's got to fix (the fumbles) and he will. But it doesn't take an expert to see he has a lot of skills out there and he's going to continue to get better."

Elliott remains the Cowboys' best ground weapon, but Sunday's benching proves he might have a shorter leash than initially thought. Morris could start eating into the rookie's carries, especially if the fumbling doesn't prove to be merely a one-game fluke.

Print