Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott undeterred by 92 rushing yards in two games


FRISCO, Texas — Ezekiel Elliott is surprised some believe he should be frustrated by the lack of success the Dallas Cowboys‘ running game has had the past two games, including last weekend’s victory against the Detroit Lions when the offense scored 35 points and piled up 509 yards.

“That’s what a good teammate does,” Elliott said of remaining positive. “You guys kind of make me feel awkward, like I’m supposed to be pissed because I had 40 yards (he rushed for 45) and we won a football game. I don’t know.”

Outside the Cowboys’ organization there is a growing “What’s wrong with Elliott?” crowd. Inside the organization, the belief remains he is the straw that stirs the drink, as Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said in the offseason.

In the past two games, against the Minnesota Vikings and Lions, Elliott has run for 92 yards on 36 carries. It is the second-lowest two-game total of his four-year career with the Cowboys. His worst rushing game came in 2017, when he had 8 yards on nine carries in a Week 2 loss to the Denver Broncos that threw his statistics out of whack.

But he has two of his four lowest two-game outputs for his career this season. In losses in Weeks 4 and 5 to the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers, respectively, he ran 30 times for 97 yards. Against the Packers, he averaged better than 5 yards per carry (62 yards on 12 attempts).

On Sunday, Elliott will see the NFL’s 10th-best run defense when the Cowboys (6-4) take on the New England Patriots (9-1).

“Minnesota, we didn’t run it great. That was on us,” Cowboys right guard Zack Martin said. “[Against Detroit], they came out and they ran that 6-1 look, which is a run-stopping defense, so pretty early on we knew that’s what they wanted to do.”

Dallas offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has put the struggles on a “combination of everything.”

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