RB Ezekiel Elliott - Dallas Cowboys
|6-0, 225||Born: 7-22-1995||College: Ohio State||Drafted: Round 1, pick 2016|
2019 Week 1 vs NYG (13 / 53 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 10 / 0 rec)
Elliott has a new contract and was managed in his snaps and touches in Week 1 as projected. The Cowboys did not need much from Elliott as the passing game ruled the day against the Giants in the comfortable win. Elliott was subbed out regularly on passing downs and Dallas was able to get additional reps for rookie Tony Pollard in the process. Elliott had a mere two targets but did manage a red zone touchdown late in the third quarter to essentially ice the game, his highlight run in an otherwise pedestrian performance. Washington was gouged for 116 rushing yard by the Eagles' running backs in Week 1 and is on deck for Elliot in Week 2.
2019 Week 2 vs WAS (23 / 111 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)
Elliott resumed his typical workload against Washington in Week 2 with 25 total touches. Elliott padded his box score late in the game as Dallas iced the win with a goal line touchdown and a rush of more than 25 yards, exhibiting nice cuts in the process, in the closing minutes. Elliott has been a secondary story to Dallas' overt offensive success through two weeks as Dak Prescott has been the engine and massive uptick from a season ago. Elliott could be in for a managed workload against Miami in Week 3, a likely comfortable win, to find work for promising rookie Tony Pollard.
2019 Week 3 vs MIA (19 / 125 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)
Elliott gained chunk yards at will against Miami with a number of double-digit gains as he ultimately ceded in the comfortable win to Tony Pollard later in the second half. Even Pollard gained 100 yards in the effort in mop-up duty. Elliott padded his stat line with two strong runs in the closing seconds of the first half when Dallas had minimal intention of pushing for scoring range. Elliott added two receptions but has not been a major passing game weapons to-date this season with not more than three targets in any singular game. Elliott had a nice cutback run in the red zone for more than 10 yards but did not sniff the end zone for a potential touchdown otherwise. Elliott also had two runs of more than 10 yards called back by penalty.
2019 Week 4 vs NO (18 / 35 / 1 rush, 7 / 6 / 30 / 0 rec)
Elliott had his typical workhorse volume but produced minimal results against the stout New Orleans defense. Backup Tony Pollard barely saw the field as Elliott collected his 24 touches and a season-high six receptions, including a one-handed catch. Elliott converted a key fourth-and-one carry but fumbled as he landed, a huge turnover considering both teams' limited scoring opportunities in the game. Elliott salvaged a goal line touchdown in an otherwise muted performance.
2019 Week 5 vs GB (12 / 62 / 1 rush, 4 / 2 / 29 / 0 rec)
The early deficit to Green Bay thanks to a struggling Dallas defense took some of the rushing volume from Elliott's workload in Week 5. However, Elliott found the end zone among his 12 carries for an impressive goal line score through contact. Elliott padded his rushing stat line in the closing seconds of the first half with two consecutive runs totaling 20 yards when neither team had much intention of playing for a score or locking down on defense. Elliott had nearly 20 yards as he squeezed through a crack in the line of scrimmage on a carry called back by holding. One of his more impressive receiving flashes of the season came on a long sideline reception for more than 25 yards through a big hit. The Jets next week offer a matchup and likely game script where Elliott can get back on track as the offensive centerpiece.
2019 Week 6 vs NYJ (28 / 105 / 1 rush, 6 / 5 / 47 / 0 rec)
Elliott was the engine for the Dallas offense in Week 6 with Amari Cooper exiting early with injury and the offensive line sustaining injuries as well. Elliott logged a season-high 33 touches and rarely left the field. Elliott rarely saw easy yards, creating after contact regularly, after two chunk runs in the first quarter for more than 10 yards each. The second half specifically is when Elliott started to control the game for Dallas' offense, breaking tackles on a reception, churning through contact for a goal-line touchdown, and gaining more than 10 yards on two other touches. Elliott did have a screen pass called back, a red zone drop, and drew a defensive pass interference penalty beyond the box score. The Eagles have regularly held running backs in check this season and are up next for Elliott and the Cowboys.
2018 Week 1 vs CAR (15 / 69 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 17 / 0 rec)
It was a tale of two halves for Ezekiel Elliott against Carolina. Elliott saw few running lanes early in the game, consistently been held to minimal gains with an occasional yard or two created after contact. Elliott salvaged a decent performance with a series of successful runs on Dallas' only scoring drive with two power runs of more than 10 yards into the red zone and scoring a touchdown on an option look with Dak Prescott. In general, Elliott looked lethargic from his typical power running self and benefitted primarily from good blocking on his most notable runs. In the passing game, Dak Prescott was inaccurate on a target to Elliott in the flat and Elliott did not beat a defender in a one-on-one open field situation on another occasion.
2018 Week 2 vs NYG (17 / 78 / 1 rush, 6 / 5 / 9 / 0 rec)
Elliott looked more explosive against the Giants this week than the non-performance in Week 1 at Carolina. 22 touches is the norm for Elliott but he was notably held in check outside of two runs of 20 yards or more. In the passing game, Dallas' offensive line struggled to set up screens for Elliott to punish second and third-level defenders in space, routinely getting stuffed as soon as he started up the field. On Elliott's lone touchdown opportunity of the game, he made a nice cut and plowed through a defender at the goal line for a successful red zone scoring run to ice the game in the closing minutes. With Dallas' offensive line a concern in pass protection and wide receiver generally lacking separation, Elliott's receiving opportunities are a question mark with a need to set in and protect the passer as opposed to being an outlet receiver.
2018 Week 3 vs SEA (16 / 127 / 0 rush, 8 / 3 / 11 / 0 rec)
On paper Elliott enjoyed he best game of the season to-date with 138 total yards on 19 touches. However, Elliott's performance was middling when accounting for his lost fumble after a chunk run, third down drop to stall a potential scoring drive, and two receptions and nearly 20-yard run accrued on meaningless drives to close each half. Elliott also had a touchdown called back due to being out of bounds before the catch. More concerning than all of Elliott's individual gaffes is Dallas' lack of any perimeter receiving threat, squeezing the defensive box against Elliott in all but garbage time or hurry-up drive settings. One positive is Elliott is rarely leaving the field for primary backup Rod Smith as Elliott is one of the few true foundation backs in the NFL.
2018 Week 4 vs DET (25 / 152 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 88 / 1 rec)
Ezekiel Elliott had more touches than the rest of the Dallas offense combined as the Cowboys showed a balanced attack centering on their offensive superstar in the much-needed home win against Detroit. Elliott saw 29 touches and amassed a career-high 240 total yards. Elliott exhibited more burst and power on his interior runs than the first couple of games this season of note. Elliott's patience was also a factor, waiting for backside angles to develop. Elliott's most promising development was his use in the passing game, where he had less than 40 yards total through the opening three games of the season. Elliott saw quality blocking on a screen reception for a touchdown and later made the critical long reception down the sideline to position Dallas for the game-winning field goal, a usage not common for Elliott to this point in his career.
2018 Week 5 vs HOU (20 / 54 / 0 rush, 7 / 7 / 30 / 0 rec)
Ezekiel Elliott saw more than 25 touches for the second straight game. The game script was positive as Dallas' defense kept their struggling offense in the game against Houston. Interior runs were a struggle all game for Elliott, who rarely left the field. Normally a high conversion rate on short-yardage carries, Elliott was stuffed on two of his three third-and-one opportunities this week and saw no short-range touchdown opportunities. One of his key third-and-short negative plays came in overtime, stalling a potential game-winning drive. His longest runs came on cutback lanes and when showing extreme patience for secondary blocks to develop. Elliott also had a 15-yard run called back by penalty. As a receiver, Elliott had his second straight game being featured and seeing time as a split out receiver. With Dallas' receivers struggling on the outside, Elliott offered an advantageous matchup to exploit late in the game.
2018 Week 6 vs JAX (24 / 106 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)
After three or more receptions in five straight games, Elliott saw minimal involvement as a receiver against Jacksonville in the blowout home win. Elliott was a featured element as usual, but it was tough sledding on inside runs overall. Elliott relied on breaking to the outside and a chunk touchdown in the fourth quarter to fuel his 100-yard performance. Elliott's best run came as he bullied through defenders for additional yardage, including his lone reception and three short-yardage conversions on third and fourth downs.
2018 Week 7 vs WAS (15 / 33 / 0 rush, 6 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)
It was a rough game for Elliott against divisional rival Washington. While Elliott rarely left the field and saw 17 touches, Elliott rarely had room to isolate a defender in a one-on-one situation for additional yardage. Dallas' run game was rendered completely ineffective and Elliott's lone positive contributions were a pair of third-and-one conversions. In the passing game, Elliott had a screen catch called back by penalty and an end zone target, his lone scoring opportunity, which he could not control. It was a lost game for Elliott heading into Dallas' bye week.
2018 Week 9 vs TEN (17 / 61 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 51 / 0 rec)
A hot start by Elliott on the opening drive with more than 30 total yards eroded to a shoulder-shrug total game impact. Elliott was patient inside on his best runs and enjoyed quality blocking on a 30+ yard screen pass down the sideline. However, Elliott and the offensive line struggled near the goal line with touchdown opportunities halted inside the five-yard-line. Elliott added a false start penalty later in the game as Dallas lost a home to Tennessee. Elliott has a mere one touchdown over his last four games before a critical divisional tilt against the Eagles in Week 10.
2018 Week 10 vs PHI (19 / 151 / 1 rush, 7 / 6 / 36 / 1 rec)
Elliott had a sluggish start against the Eagles, being stuffed consistently on the opening two drives plus Elliott had an early chunk gain called back by penalty. The highlight runs started in the second half as Elliott become the centerpiece to Dallas' impressive road victory over the Eagles. Elliott hurdled a defender on his highlight run, keeping his balance after the leap over a defender for more than 30 yards. Elliott logged another cutback run of nearly 40 yards late in the game, plus two red zone scores. Elliott was active in the passing game yet again with his eight game (of nine) this season with at least four targets. Atlanta next week offers a strong matchup to repeat his juggernaut box score from Week 10.
2018 Week 11 vs ATL (23 / 122 / 1 rush, 8 / 7 / 79 / 0 rec)
Elliott was the engine leading Dallas' offense in the road win in Atlanta. In addition to 23 carries, Elliott led the team with seven receptions. Elliott showed the full array of running back traits with patience at the line of scrimmage, getting skinny through the hole, and being physical against contact and at the second level. Elliott consistently optimized his touches and exploited quality blocking by the Dallas offensive line. Amidst Elliott's outstanding performance (second game of 200+ total yards this season), he did have two negative plays with a dropped pass and a fumble after picking up a third-and-short conversion, which was recovered by an offensive lineman on the play.
2018 Week 12 vs WAS (26 / 121 / 1 rush, 6 / 5 / 22 / 0 rec)
Elliott's hot streak continued in the home win over Washington. For the third straight game Elliott had 140 or more total yards and at least 25 touches as the Cowboys' offensive centerpiece. Elliott had tough sledding for much of the middle two quarters of the game after a hot start and was stuffed on fourth-and-one in the mid-fourth quarter with a chance to ice the game. Elliott's best runs were finding cutback lanes and exhibiting a strong combination of power and agility to gain leverage on defenders in one-on-one situations. The Saints are a stingy running back matchup in Week 13 for Elliott.
2018 Week 13 vs NO (23 / 76 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 60 / 1 rec)
Elliott had tough sledding against an inspired Saints run defense. Fortunately, Elliott was featured in the pass game with two noteworthy screen passes with excellent design, one for 15 yards and another for a red zone touchdown. On the ground, Elliott was held in check outside of a beautiful cutback in the fourth quarter for more than 20 yards. On another occasion Elliott fought through penetration to turn a loss into a small gain. Elliott rarely left the field and saw nearly 30 touches as one of the few unquestioned foundation running backs in the NFL.
2018 Week 14 vs PHI (28 / 113 / 0 rush, 13 / 12 / 79 / 0 rec)
Elliott amassed 40 touches in the home win over the Eagles. Elliott missed a small portion of the game after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit on the sideline and being checked for a concussion on the sideline. He ultimately returned and posted a solid run and a fourth-and-one conversion on Dallas' game-winning overtime drive. Elliott had six touches of at least 10 yards in the game but generally had tough sledding inside against the Eagles. Elliott's best runs were a combination of power finishes and strong vision to cut to the outside once through the line of scrimmage. Elliott is on pace to eclipse 2,000 total yards on the season.
2018 Week 15 vs IND (18 / 87 / 0 rush, 8 / 7 / 41 / 0 rec)
Elliott was the lone bright spot for a lagging Dallas offense in the shutout road loss in Indianapolis. Elliott collected 25 touches despite limping off the field on two occasions, but returning to action shortly after. Elliott showed an array of quality plays as Dallas' offensive centerpiece, but was stuffed on fourth-and-one near the goal line on his notable touchdown opportunity in the game. Elliott added a drop in the passing game but did lead the team in receptions as little was working for Dallas through the air outside of check downs in the direction of Elliott.
2018 Week 16 vs TB (18 / 85 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 24 / 0 rec)
Elliott logged his eighth straight game of at least 20 touches as the Dallas offensive centerpiece. Elliott had an up-and-down game, however, with a fumble and drop among his low-light moments. Fortunately, Dallas recovered his fumble. Elliott's best runs were a combination of getting skinny through small interior holes, finding cutback lanes for 10 or more yards, and getting to the corner on slower developing plays including a run to ice the game in the closing minutes of the win. Elliott also had a seven-yard rush called back by penalty and his best touchdown opportunity was nearly scoring on a red zone reception to the perimeter. Elliott impressively surpassed 2,000 total yards on the season and his 77 catches more than double his previous career high.
2018 Week 18 vs SEA (26 / 137 / 1 rush, 5 / 4 / 32 / 0 rec)
Elliott logged yet another monster workload after getting Week 17 off with Dallas locked into their playoff spot. Elliott saw 30 touches as the engine for Dallas' offense, including 10 carries alone by the mid-second quarter. Elliott's receiving involvement was mostly in the first half, including yards-after-catch to set up a field goal attempt on third-and-long. Elliott's rushing performance was aided by a 41-yard jaunt to the perimeter as Seattle had no set edge and Elliott had easy access. Elliott's best individual run of the game included delivering a strong stiff arm in the closing minutes and salt away additional time on the clock. Elliott converted on his lone possession and opportunity down at the goal line with a well-blocked short-range score.
2018 Week 19 vs LAR (20 / 47 / 1 rush, 5 / 2 / 19 / 0 rec)
Elliott struggled against the Rams active defensive front as a rusher with only a great cutback for 15 yards his notable gain. Elliott did convert a fourth down, but later was stuffed on fourth down as Dallas nearly got back into the game in scoring range. Elliott churned in a goal line touchdown, but was stuffed on a late fourth quarter attempt for a potential second score. Game script was working against Elliott for much of the game, but he still received 20 carries and was the feature element. With Rod Smith an upcoming free agent, Elliott's 2019 primary backup is up in the air entering the offseason.
2017 Week 1 vs NYG (24 / 104 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 36 / 0 rec)
With 29 touches Elliott was the central figure of the Dallas offense. Darren McFadden was a surprise inactive after running as the No.2 back for Dallas in the preseason. Alfred Morris rarely saw the field as Elliott dominated snaps against the Giants. It was a slow start for Elliott as he ran into contact for modest gains early on. However, Elliott's opportunities in space expanded as the game progressed. By late in the second quarter Elliott's physical running style - and Dallas' sheer volume of plays in the first half - took their toll and Elliott's rate of breaking tackles increased. Elliott logged three straight chunk gains as the first half concluded and punished the Giants in the second half as Dallas began to milk the clock. Elliott did not see any optimal looks for the touchdown in the game as Dallas' lone drive to the goal line ended with three straight targets in Dez Bryant's direction, a notable change from Elliott's typical chances to churn into the end zone a year ago in those situations.
2017 Week 2 vs DEN (9 / 8 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 14 / 0 rec)
Elliott had his worst game as a pro in Week 2, stifled en route to 22 total yards on 13 touches. Dallas consistently trailed by multiple touchdowns and Denver's front seven offered little room for error by Dallas' usually strong offensive line. Elliott was the target as opposed to his typical style of doling out contact beyond the line of scrimmage. Elliott's lone glimmers of opportunity were converting a fourth down carry late in the third quarter and receiving a goal line attempt, which was stuffed before it started. Week 3 offers another strong test for Dallas' offense against Arizona.
2017 Week 3 vs ARI (22 / 80 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)
Elliott dominated the backfield work for Dallas as expected against Arizona, rarely leaving the field. Nearly 50 of his 80 yards on the ground were collected on two chunk gains, one an outstanding broken tackle at the line of scrimmage and advancing through a cutback angle. Most of Elliott's attempts were met by Arizona penetration as Elliott struggled to take more than a handful of steps before going down. In the closing minutes, however, the Dallas offensive line opened two of their most impressive holes of the game as Elliott logged back-to-back red zone runs, the second ending with the game-clinching touchdown. With Dallas' low-volume passing attack this week, Elliott led the team with four targets on dump-off receptions.
2017 Week 4 vs LAR (21 / 85 / 1 rush, 5 / 4 / 54 / 1 rec)
Unlike tough games against Denver and Arizona the previous two games, Elliott provided a more sustaining element to the Dallas offense against the Rams. Elliott had four rushes on the opening drive alone. Elliott was at his best near the end zone as he powered through two defenders on the sideline, diving for the pylon and the touchdown on one of the four receptions. Elliott got the edge on a goal line carry, ending just short of the end zone only to power in for the score on the next carry. Elliott ran with power consistently on the interior and the initial Rams defender struggled to stop Elliott in space. In the final minute, Elliott charged through defenders on a fourth-and-10 reception, coming up one yard short in Dallas' comeback bid.
2017 Week 5 vs GB (29 / 116 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)
Elliott had tough sledding against Green Bay with a season-high 30 touches. His volume was high on the opening drive, but did not begin to find a rhythm until the fourth quarter. Dallas' offensive line has been up-and-down as a run-blocking unit through the opening month of the season and this week was no exception. Elliott found room to the perimeter for 25 yards early in the fourth quarter, turning into a string of quality runs as Dallas looked to secure the win. Elliott, like on the opening drive, was the centerpiece element of Dallas' scoring drive to take lead late in the game. A highlight of Elliott's game was converting on fourth-and-one (ultimately reviewed) with second effort through contact. Elliott did not see an optimal goal line opportunities or much work in the passing game as Dallas worked through their wide receivers more this week and Elliott blocked on plenty of snaps.
2017 Week 7 vs SF (26 / 147 / 2 rush, 3 / 1 / 72 / 1 rec)
With his suspension yet to be finalized, Elliott was active for the Cowboys in Week 7 and their impressive road victory over the 49ers. Elliott was efficient from the start as he consistently churned out yards after contact and the offensive line had their best showing of the season paving holes on the ground. Elliott plunged in for a goal line touchdown and dragged a defender into the end zone for a second score early in the game. Rounding out his complete performance, Elliott turned his lone reception into a 72-yard touchdown with speed to the edge and an outstanding cutback to find the end zone on the screen pass. By the mid-fourth quarter Elliott was on the sideline as Dallas cruised to the 30-point win as No.3 running back Rod Smith milked the clock to close the game.
2017 Week 8 vs WAS (33 / 150 / 2 rush, 2 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
With another game of activity as his suspension looms, Elliott was the engine of the Dallas offense, accounting for 34 touches and more than 150 total yards. This was Elliott's largest workload of the season and Dallas' offensive line arguably played their best game of the season in the run game. Elliott lost a fumble on his opening carry of the game, his lone blemish, as Washington was staked in field goal range as a result. Elliott quickly turned around his game, however, consistently gaining quality yardage on inside runs. Elliott converted his short-yardage opportunities, including third-and-one, fourth-and-one, and a goal line carry. His two-touchdown performance could have been three scores as a chunk gain through a wide open running lane was called back by holding. Projecting ahead after a possible suspension starting next week, Elliott would still have strong rushing efficiency matchups late in the season with Oakland and Seattle in Weeks 15-16.
2017 Week 9 vs KC (27 / 93 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
With another game of activity pending Elliott's suspension outcome later this week, Elliot was the feature element against Kansas City with 27 touches. In 7-of-8 games this season Elliott has at least 25 touches in a game. This week featured tough sledding, especially in the first half. However, the second half was kicked off by an Elliott carry featuring a jump cut and hurdling a defender. While Elliott's performance lacked his typical big gains, short-yardage situations were key to his quality showing. Elliott converted a goal line carry and later in the second half a key third-and-one in the red zone as Dallas churned out the home victory. Most curious was Elliott's absence from the passing game. After a strong start to the season (16 receptions in first month of the season), Elliott has three receptions total over the last four games including zero targets this week. If active for Week 10, Atlanta marks another strong matchup for Elliott in Rush Efficiency allowed.
2017 Week 16 vs SEA (24 / 97 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 21 / 0 rec)
Elliott was back from his suspension as the feature back for Dallas, rarely leaving the field. Elliott's 28 touches were in line with his typical workload before the suspension. While a sustaining element to Dallas' offense, especially early in the game, Elliott struggled to rip off any substantial gains. In the mid-second quarter, Elliott had his best string of carries, totaling 17 yards on three straight attempts. The success was short-lived, however, as Dallas' offensive line had an average day in run blocking. Elliott's offensive involvement was pass-centric later in the game as Dallas fell behind. Elliott dropped two passes, including one where he absorbed a huge hit on the play. Elliott's best chance for a touchdown came with Dallas positioned with first-and-goal from point blank range. Instead of feeding Elliott, Dallas passed the ball twice and drew a penalty without featuring their running back at the goal line.
2017 Week 17 vs PHI (27 / 103 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 38 / 0 rec)
Elliott fell just short of 1,000 rushing yards on the season with his 103-yard effort to close the season against the Eagles. Elliott returned to his workhorse status the last two weeks of the season following his six-game suspension, totaling 30 touches as Dallas' passing game struggled in Philadelphia. The offensive line offered little help to Elliott for much of the first half, being stoned by the Eagles' front seven at the line of scrimmage, including not converting a fourth-and-one carry and tracking down Elliott when bouncing to the edge when penetration derailed interior running lanes. Elliott found his groove in a short sequence of touches from the late second quarter to the early third quarter, amassing more than 60 total yards on three opportunities with quality blocking and perimeter jaunts. The offensive line improved their play in the second half and Elliott was critical to icing the game and burning clock in the closing minutes of the narrow victory. Elliott's season was marred by the suspension looming over his head from the beginning of the season until finally serving his six games beginning in Week 10. Elliott returned in Week 16 with a solid but unspectacular game as Dallas was on the playoff fringe.
2016 Week 1 vs NYG (20 / 51 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)
Elliott had tough sledding in his NFL debut. While the Dallas offensive line protected Dak Prescott well in the passing game, few running lanes were paved for the No.4 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft on the ground. Elliott was a central element to Dallas' opening drive of the game, converting a short-yardage situation and catching a red zone target. It was not until the second half when Elliott had much room with which to work. His highlight runs of the game comprised of two gains of more than five yards on a single touchdown drive, including his cutback scoring jaunt in the red zone. On the positive side, Elliott was the clear lead back with 21 touches (Alfred Morris saw seven) and exclusive run of the red zone work.
2016 Week 2 vs WAS (21 / 83 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)
While the Dallas offensive line fared better against Washington than in Elliott's Week 1 debut, it was still tough sledding for the rookie in Week 2. On the plus side, Elliott converted his goal line opportunity and has been a focal point of Dallas' offense early in games, including this week. Elliott, however, fumbled twice against Washington, both in the second half of a close game. Dallas was able to recover the second of Elliott's fumbles. Alfred Morris saw more playing time after Elliott's second fumble than before. The pass game upside has not been there with Elliott through two games and Lance Dunbar was back as a contributor in Week 2.
2016 Week 3 vs CHI (30 / 140 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 20 / 0 rec)
For a third straight week Elliott saw at least 20 carries, behind only LeGarrette Bount and Lamar Miller in total carries through three games. Elliott punished defenders at the second level with more defined running lanes plowed by the offensive line in Week 3 than the first two games combined. Elliott's highlights included converting a fourth down attempt, bursting off-tackle and hurdling a defender for a chunk gain on third-and-short. Elliott has a background as hurdler as he showed off his perfect technique on the play. Elliott's day could have been much bigger as all three Dallas rushing touchdowns in the red zone were siphoned by Dak Prescott (goal line sneak), Alfred Morris, and strangely Lance Dunbar. Elliott had his best receiving day to-date (two catches, 20 yards) but offers upside as the season progresses in that area as well.
2016 Week 4 vs SF (23 / 138 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 19 / 0 rec)
Another week, another 20 or more carries for Ezekiel Elliott. The rookie running back was aided by a strong performance by Dallas' offensive line, paving defined running lanes for Elliott against San Francisco. After an initial two-touchdown deficit, Dallas gained a second half lead and Elliott was instrumental in salting away the victory. Elliott powered through contact regularly and gained at least five yards on numerous carries. Elliott churned to convert a third-and-short opportunity and later was rewarded after a long run down to the one-yard-line with a subsequent goal line touchdown plunge to take the lead. The missing element for Elliott is through the air. He has shown obvious competency as a receiver, and especially as a pass blocker, yet Lance Dunbar is the clear hurry-up back of choice for Dallas and Elliott has yet to see more than two targets in a game.
2016 Week 5 vs CIN (15 / 134 / 2 rush, 4 / 3 / 37 / 0 rec)
Elliott, who is now the unquestioned rushing leader in the NFL through five games with 85 yards more than any other running back, logged his finest game as a pro. Dallas' offensive line created clear running lanes, but Elliott did his part looking quicker and more decisive with his cuts than the opening month of the season. On the opening drive alone Elliott had three chunk gains on the ground, including a red zone touchdown jaunt. As Dallas pulled away for the comfortable home win, Elliott burst through the heart of Cincinnati's defense for an untouched long score. His 171 total yards marked a season-high while logging a season-low 18 touches. Elliott is in the small subset of workhorse running backs and his efficiency continues to rise by the week. The Packers mark the toughest run defense matchup in the NFL, a good litmus test for Elliott and the Dallas offensive line next week.
2016 Week 6 vs GB (28 / 157 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)
Elliott continues to log historic volume and production for a rookie running back. He has had at least 18 touches in every game and against the Packers marked his second game of at least 30 touches early this season. Elliott has been rising in receiving work in recent weeks, hitting four targets in each of the past two games. Elliott exhibits elite traits in multiple areas on a weekly basis, this week being no exception. His subtle moves - like using his shoulder to shake off a defender - fuel chunk gains at the second level. Elliott has the speed to get the corner on perimeter runs. Elliott even hurdled a defender, which is becoming a regular occurrence, for another strong gain in the fourth quarter. Elliott iced the game in the closing minutes with a broken tackle and cutback for close to 30 yards. Alfred Morris rarely saw the field this week as Elliott progresses to workhorse level, monopolizing snaps.
2016 Week 8 vs PHI (22 / 96 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 52 / 0 rec)
Elliott's Week 8 performance against the Eagles was front-loaded as the centerpiece in the first half. Elliott totaled 75 yards - more than half his game total - in the first quarter alone. Most of his yardage came on a handful of chunk gains and Philadelphia stuffed the line of scrimmage on the rest. Elliott exhibited a strong stiff arm en route to a perimeter gain as well as churning through contact on other carries. Elliott's receiving game usage continues to expand with a season-high four receptions this week and nine over the past three games. Elliott's longest gain of 60 yards was called back by holding, which would have boosted his box score to more than 150 rushing yards on the day. Before Dak Prescott converted on fourth down on the game-winning overtime touchdown drive, Elliott was stuffed on third-and-one. With two games in a row without a touchdown, Elliott is primed for a better game in Week 9 against the overmatched Browns rush defense.
2016 Week 9 vs CLE (18 / 92 / 2 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Elliott led the Cowboys in rushing as usual against Cleveland, but a comfortable second half margin allowed backup Alfred Morris to nearly match Elliott in carries this week. The pattern of Elliott being the feature element for Dallas on the opening drive or two maintained its trend in Week 9. Elliott had a handful of chunk gains, including a perimeter jaunt for a touchdown where he stretched for the pylon following a stiff arm, in the first half. Another touchdown to the edge and breaking multiple tackles on a reception were highlight moments in the second half before he rested as the game progressed. This was the first game since Week 2 Elliott had not hit 100 total yards, but game flow was the reason, not efficiency. Elliott is on pace for more than 2,000 total yards this season with only two noteworthy stingy run defenses left in the second half of Dallas' schedule.
2016 Week 10 vs PIT (21 / 114 / 2 rush, 2 / 2 / 95 / 1 rec)
Elliott was the engine fueling Dallas' road victory against the Steelers this week. Elliott had multiple touchdowns for the third time in the past five games and 20 or more touches for the seventh time in nine total games. Elliott consistently won versus initial contact and multiple times in short yardage situations. Elliott's display of acumen expands by the week. In this game, the rookie added long speed and vision to his list of strong assets. On a well-blocked first half screen pass, Elliott worked his way down the sideline for an 83-yard score, showing his long speed. An initially well-defensed third-and-one by Pittsburgh's front seven was beaten by Elliott's strong jump cut and finding a backside crack in the line of scrimmage. In the final two minutes, Elliott broke through for the game-winning touchdown to cap off his impressive showing. Elliott is on pace for more than 2,200 total yards and averaging more than a touchdown per game. The Ravens and Vikings offer stiff run game tests for Elliott over the next three weeks.
2016 Week 11 vs BAL (25 / 97 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 30 / 0 rec)
As expected, Elliott and the Dallas run game struggled to produce more than chain-moving and offensive-balancing rushing production against the strong Ravens defense. Elliott's workhorse status was not in question as he saw 25-of-28 running back carries and added four receptions, tying a season-high. Elliott and the offensive line have been consistently fast starters this season, but Baltimore stuffed Elliott regularly on the opening few drives. Also, the high leverage touches were not there for Elliott this week. Inside the 10-yard-line, Elliott did not receive a carry on three straight plays and Lance Dunbar was in for Dallas' first half two-minute drill possession. Elliott's two best plays came on receptions, once hurdling a defender for additional yardage, and another exhibiting strong cuts on third down. Elliott has a choice matchup against Washington this coming week.
2016 Week 12 vs WAS (20 / 97 / 2 rush, 2 / 2 / 23 / 0 rec)
Elliott was back to his dominating ways against Washington, a much softer matchup than Week 11 against Baltimore. His performance centered on a handful of chunk gains. Misdirection plays were Elliott's highlight plays in the first half, cutting back for 20 yards on the opening carry of the game of note. Elliott saw regular red zone usage this week, converting the second of two close-range carries in the first half for a score and icing the game with six minutes to play with another goal line score. Elliott had a third touchdown called back by a holding penalty in the second half. The Vikings and Giants offer two of the top-half rushing defenses in the NFL for Elliott the next two weeks.
2016 Week 13 vs MIN (20 / 86 / 1 rush, 5 / 4 / 19 / 0 rec)
For the tenth time in 12 games this season Elliott saw at least 20 carries. The Vikings front seven consistently clogged running lanes on the interior. Elliott did create on his own, however, running through an arm tackle early in the game for more than 10 yards and showing a strong jump cut for close to 30 yards as Dallas looked to ice the game late. Elliott did fumble as he was stacked up on a perimeter run, but recovered. He converted his lone scoring opportunity, plowing in from one yard out after Dez Bryant's long reception staked Dallas at the goal line. Elliott did have two runs, totaling 10 yards, called back by penalty.
2016 Week 14 vs NYG (24 / 107 / 0 rush, 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Another week and another 20 or more carries for Ezekiel Elliott. The rookie's production centered around five runs of at least nine yards, primarily finding openings to the perimeter. The Giants clogged interior running lanes throughout the game and a majority of Elliott's carries in the second half. Elliott saw zero goal line opportunities, but did convert a fourth-and-one carry. Notably, Elliott had no receptions for the first time this season and Lance Dunbar was the primary Dallas back for hurry-up and two-minute drives. The Giants were the stiffest test left on Elliott's schedule with a get well opportunity against Tampa Bay next week.
2016 Week 15 vs TB (23 / 159 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 29 / 0 rec)
On the National television stage, Elliott had his second-highest total yardage count of the season, nearing 200 yards. Elliott's highlight runs showed his entire skillset from power running through contact, vision to find cutback lanes, and pure speed on the perimeter. Elliott had a walk-in goal line touchdown with a well-defined alley from Dallas' offensive line. Since his opening game in the NFL, Elliott has at least 85 total yards in every game and has already eclipsed 340 touches on the season. Detroit offers another strong matchup in Week 16.
2016 Week 16 vs DET (12 / 80 / 2 rush, 1 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)
Elliott continued his touchdown rampage against Detroit, finding the end zone twice on his lowest volume of the season. It was a slow start for Elliott, rushing for just five yards on three carries during Dallas' opening drive, but the rookie runner heated up quickly. Elliott amassed a significant share of his yardage (55) on a single long touchdown run, finding the backside alley and outrunning the defensive back to the corner of the end zone. Later in the red zone, Elliott bounced to the perimeter for an easy score. Elliott saw just a single target, breaking a tackle on the reception, his lowest passing volume since Week 9. Elliott has 16 touchdowns with one game to go, already No.5 in NFL history for rookie running backs. With another score in Week 17, Elliott would move to second.