The love/hate relationship between Dallas Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliot on one side and NFL on the other is all over media these days. But both sides, at least Cowboys and the league, are together at one thing. The Cowboys running back needs a wake-up call.
Most valuable sports franchise as it was recently reported, certainly hoped that the legal troubles concerning domestic violence are going to straighten up their player, but that didn’t happen. He went from that, to bar fights, all up to publicly pulling up a shirt of a girl on a St. Patrick’s parade.
Of course, Cowboys management, and league officials looked Elliott trough fingers on many occasions. When you are a star player on the world’s most valuable franchise, you have special treatment. Also, you are a natural heir to the greats such as Tony Dorsett, and Emmitt Smith and that is a privilege and a burden.
So, it’s not the end of the world that he decided not to follow up on THAT interception. That play was just one of many bad Cowboys had on the night. Even if he chased Harris and took him down it wouldn’t change the 42-17 loss.
But, be aware, we are not defending him. He is one of the best players on Dallas Cowboys roster, and regardless of the circumstances, he should at least try. Elliott didn’t, and a ton of critics fell on his back, with one rare exception being Jerry Jones who defended him.
On Monday, coach Garrett said that he understands Elliott’s frustration. The result was as it was and every player on Cowboys team was frustrated, but his showing of it was the most public out of them all. The thing that felt hardest must have been coach’s words: “That’s not the way we play.” The coaching staff is asserting the situation, and this will be discussed with the player himself.
The problem is that they should talk to the player earlier. Yes, he had a stellar NFL career to date but what about before that? In college, he was known as someone who desires spotlight. At the college, he was the most famous face on the campus. Zeke and Joey Bosa ‘run the town.’ But Bosa was the first to stop this partying lifestyle, moving out of the apartment he shared with Elliott. He learned his lesson back then. Zeke failed to do that. All of his off-field antics didn’t affect his on-field performance. Not in college nor in the NFL, so the player had little reason to change.
The first of his football problems that surfaced was when he showed overweighted to the training camp. Same as the other things this never affected his football. It doesn’t today. But he won’t be in his early twenties forever nor will the league wait for him to change.
Now, with the decision on his six-game ban is being close to conclusion, and after the worst game of his career maybe Elliott should assert some things. Playing by his own rules should be no more an option. We know this, but does Elliott?