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Jerry Jones: Others, not just Zeke, needed more effort

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  • By Edward Lewis NFL.com
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LaDainian Tomlinson criticized Ezekiel Elliott for his effort on Dak Prescott's second-half interception to Chris Harris in the Cowboys' loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Coach Jason Garrett didn't like his running back's demeanor on the play either.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones chimed in on the issue Tuesday, saying other Cowboys on the field, not just Elliott, needed to make better attempts at stopping defensive backs who intercept his young quarterback.

"If you really looked at several Dallas Cowboys players on that interception, you saw what would not, I think, be the case in a closely contested ballgame," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan's Shan and RJ show, via the Dallas Morning News. "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 [Prescott] now, of course, gave it everything he had to try to contain that interception, but still, you look at it across the board, you'll need more effort than what you see."

Because Elliott's effort has been criticized on both of Prescott's interceptions -- the quarterback also tossed a pick-six to Aqib Talib in the fourth quarter -- it's hard to determine whether Jones is referring to Elliott's actions on the Harris pick or the Talib one. On the Harris one, nearly every Cowboy on the field except Elliott attempts to make the tackle. On the Talib one, it's harder to gauge everyone's effort as Talib raced to the end zone, per All-22 footage.

The Cowboys star tailback hadn't faced real on-field adversity until Sunday's blowout loss in Denver. Prior to his nine-carry, eight-yard performance against the Broncos, his career-worst day was a 20-carry, 51-yard, one-touchdown outing in his NFL debut against the New York Giants last September. In every game after that, he had rushed for at least 80 yards, including eight 100-yard games.

"Those two plays are not indicative of the kind of competitor that he was, and we have to get that addressed," Garrett said Monday.

Elliott said his play in the Broncos loss won't "discourage" the team or him.

The Cowboys play the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football next. Elliott is expected to play. All parties involved in Dallas hope it's with a better demeanor if things don't break his way once again.

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