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Jerry Jones defends Ezekiel Elliott amid criticism over lack of effort

Ezekiel Elliott has been subjected to criticism over a perceived lack of effort following two offensive turnovers during the Dallas Cowboys’ demoralizing 42-17 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. But Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has since suggested it wasn’t only Elliott who appeared to quit on at least on of those plays.

The incident in question occurred during the third quarter when Broncos cornerback Chris Harris intercepted a Dak Prescott pass. Elliott also was criticized by Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett for not trying to chase down Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib on another Prescott interception, which ultimately was returned 103 yards for a pick-six.

Jones, however, is defending his second-year running back … by saying he wasn’t the only Cowboys offensive player who didn’t show max effort on the Prescott pick by Harris.

“If you really looked at several Dallas Cowboys players on that interception, you saw what would not, I think, be the case in a closely contested ballgame,” Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM], as transcribed by The Dallas Morning News. “I think you can point to Zeke, but you really have to look at the general effort to chase that ball down by most of the people that were on the field.

“Dak [Prescott] now, of course, gave it everything he had to try to contain that interception, but still, you look at it across the board, you’ll need more effort than what you see.”

Garrett in his criticisms of Elliott said lack of effort may have been inspired by frustration over the Cowboys’ futility on offense, but that should never be used an excuse. But with Jones calling out other Cowboys players on that particular play, Elliott may have been let off the hook for his efforts, or lack thereof.