Ezekiel Elliott shared an honest assessment of his play this season, admitting that several other running backs are playing better than him this year.
"I wouldn't say so," Elliott said when asked if recent games show he's the best RB in the NFL, via the Dallas Morning News. "I think there's been running backs that have played better than me this year. ... I don't think it bothers me. It kind of adds a little fuel to the fire. I've got some more work to do. That's all."
Elliott declined to name any specific players who have sprinted out in front of him this season, but two obvious choices could be Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook. CMC leads running backs with a 5.3 yards per attempt among players with at least 100 totes, and is an MVP candidate with 1,244 scrimmage yards, 881 rushing yards (second-most in the NFL), and a league-high 13 total TDs. Cook, meanwhile, leads the NFL in rushing (894) and is second in scrimmage yards (1,232), rushing TDs (9) and owns the second-highest percent of his team's scrimmage yards in 2019 (34.3).
"Just his speed, his ability to stretch and cut and make guys miss," Elliott said. "He's definitely a special guy."
Elliott's' assessment of Cook is dead on. The Vikings RB is a spaceship on grass, able to blastoff at any touch.
While he might not consider himself the top runner now, Elliot is making his way back towards the top of the charts.
Zeke got off to a slow start after his offseason holdout that helped make him the highest-paid running back in the NFL. The Cowboys heartbeat has increased his rushing totals each of the past five games:
Week 4: 35 yards (L)
Week 5: 62 yards (L)
Week 6: 105 yards (L)
Week 7: 111 yards (W)
Week 9: 139 yards (W)
Elliott owns three straight games of 100-plus rushing yards, the longest current streak in the NFL. The longest of his career is four -- from Weeks 3-6, 2016 (rookie season). Facing a stingy Vikings defense Sunday will make it difficult on the RB to hit that mark.
As the season has worn on, Zeke has gotten seemingly better by the game. The further the back gets from his offseason holdout the more damage he does to defenses. If that trend continues, perhaps he'll bypass those other running backs before the season is out.