Opinion BY CLARENCE E. HILL JR FOrt Worth Star Telegram

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is a proud warrior. He is as tough as any player on the team.

And most importantly, he is a team player. Those are the reasons an injured Elliott has continued to play

on a banged-up right knee that has limited his play and effectiveness for the last month. Elliott wants to

be out there with his teammates. And the Cowboys want him on the field despite the injury because of

his presence, toughness on short yardage and his ability to protect in the passing game. Making matters

worse is the team’s public refusal to acknowledge that Elliott is clearly not himself. He can’t jump cut, he

barely can cut and runs with no juice. This has been most evident the last month when had the worst

four consecutive rushing days of his career with 14 rushes for 41 yards in a 43-3 victory against the

Atlanta Falcons, 9 for 32 in a 19-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, 9 for 25 in a 36-33 overtime loss to the

Las Vegas Raiders and 13 for 45 in Thursday’s 27-17 victory against the New Orleans Saints. It’s the

worst four-game stretch of his six-year that includes two rushing titles. Elliott’s limitations were on full

display on a 10-yard run against the Saints when he turned the corner and hobbled out of bounds,

untouched.  Yet, owner Jerry Jones continues to be disingenuous about what Elliott is dealing with. “I

didn’t see what you’re referring to,” Jones said. “I saw a stout run defense by New Orleans

unquestionably. No, I’m really — I’m sound with where I am. His trainers, the people that are closest to

his health, his medical situation, they think he’s really good to go.” Per a source, Elliott is good to go in

terms of not being able to not injure himself any worse, which is why the doctors and medical people are

allowing him to play. Elliott is nowhere close to 100 percent and likely won’t get there for the rest of the

season. Again, he refuses to make excuses. He hopes the 10-day break between the Saints game and the

Washington game on Dec. 12 will help him regain some juice. “It’ll be good to get a break,” Elliott said.

Jones echoed similar comments about the 10-day break being good for Elliott. But Jones remained tone

deaf about his limitations and showed no interest in Elliott possibly sitting out a game to heal. “You

know, a lot of times, if you can get through games, if you can push on, then that’s better for you than

sitting it out,” Jones said. “If you have an issue, it improves if you’re able to get out and not injure it

more. He certainly didn’t injure anything more [against the Saints]. So, I really look forward to a

powerful and dynamic Zeke as we move on into this last part of the season.” No one believes that final


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