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Jerry Jones: Ezekiel Elliott ban improved Dak Prescott

The Dallas Cowboys still have an outside chance of making a playoff run with three games down the stretch despite the absence of Ezekiel Elliott.

With the running back set to serve the final game of his six-tilt suspension this week, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spun the situation positive during his weekly radio appearance on KRLD-FM in Dallas on Tuesday, saying it ended up being a net positive for Dak Prescott.

"I'm so happy for our fans," Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. "Every day that he walks out there he's got a chance to improve. And when someone works as hard as he does, and I emphasize that. He is a tremendous worker. And you used to hear those kinds of things about Peyton Manning, just how much he invested in everything he does, every practice.

"When you've got that kind of discipline, you're going to improve. We know that he's got an unordinary talent. So, we're just better, frankly. It hurt us to miss Zeke, but as far as Dak is concerned, we've got a better player for having gone through this.

"I don't recommend it for the Cowboys, of course, but we got a better player. We've got a better future because he's gone through this period of time without Zeke."

After the world melted down following Prescott's early struggles sans Elliott, the quarterback has bounced back. In the first three weeks of Zeke's suspension, the Cowboys were 0-3, and Dak played poorly, tossing for fewer than 200 yards per game, averaging 5.7 yards per attempt, zero TD passes, five interceptions, eight total turnovers and a 57.0 passer rating. In the last two weeks -- both wins -- the second-year pro is averaging 8.3 yards per attempt, 5 TD, 0 INTs and a 118.6 passer rating.

The level of competition in each of the five games likely played a major factor in the performances -- Falcons, Eagles, Chargers in losses; Redskins, Giants in wins -- but stacking positives without Elliott should build confidence for a young quarterback who is still growing.

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