Ezekiel Elliott reverses course: Wins, not rookie rushing record, is goal
Ezekiel Elliott made it clear that any pursuit of breaking Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record isn’t as important as helping the Dallas Cowboys win football games.
What makes that reasonable statement intriguing is that the rookie claims he wasn’t the one who boasted about breaking the record in the first place.
In five games, Elliott has rushed for 546 total yards, meaning he’s on pace to rush for 1,747 yards on the season.
In Dickerson’s record-breaking rookie season in 1983, he rushed for 1,808 yards. That means Elliott would have to average 115 yards per game over Dallas’ remaining 11 games to break the record.
Is it possible?
“I don’t know,” Elliott said this week, via The Dallas Morning News.
Elliott then placed blame on the media for starting the entire conversation in the first place.
“Honestly, I never started talking about Eric Dickerson’s record, you guys did,” he said. “So you guys made that a story, but it’s honestly not something I’m very focused on. I’m focused on going out and winning ballgames, focused on getting better with the team every week.”
Elliott’s recent comments, however, stand in stark contrast to what Dickerson himself had to say on the topic.
“He told me through his agent that he was going to break my record,” Dickerson said in September, via ESPN. “I just laughed and said, ‘Good luck.’ Many have said that; all have failed.”
About the same time, Elliott had this to say about Dickerson.
“I know a little bit about him,” Elliott said. “Eighteen hundred yards. We joke about it all the time. I told him I’m going to get it.”
To be fair to Elliott, though, it wasn’t much later that he hedged his bets a bit.
“Honestly, what’s important is going out there and doing whatever I can to help this team win ball games and make this team a better team,” he said. “Yeah, that’s something I do want to accomplish, but it’s not a priority. What is a priority is going out and winning ball games every week.”
It’s hardly surprising Elliott has adopted a team-first attitude and made any record-breaking a distant second.
But should he break the record while leading the Cowboys to a successful season? That would be icing on the cake.