Mean Joe Greene to Ezekiel Elliott: Don’t take it for granted

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Ezekiel Elliott became a star on the field in this first season, something Hall of Famer Mean Joe Greene predicted when Elliott “took apart Alabama” while at Ohio State. But Greene, a former scout with the Steelers, hopes Elliott realizes the running back has a responsibility off the field, too.

“I know that people are probably watching him and trying to take care of him, and he should listen,” Greene said via Newy Scruggs of NBC5. “You’re blessed to have the time that you have. You’re blessed to be here in Dallas on this football team. Don’t take it for granted because just one incident can change it all. It can all go away. … You can’t let your head get so big you can’t get it through the door.”

Although prosecutors in Ohio decided not to pursue domestic abuse allegations against Elliott, an NFL investigation remains open. Elliott also has had a couple of ill-advised actions caught on video or in photos.

But Greene, who lives in the Dallas area, said he believes Elliott can be a difference-maker not only for the Cowboys but for his position. Elliott led the league in rushing last season as a rookie.

“He is a guy that to me is putting running back back into the spotlight in the National Football League,” Greene said. “For a while we were thinking, just throw the football; take the run out of it. But they call it football, and that means that somebody has to carry. Good teams have good guys that carry the football. Running backs have a tendency to play on the edge. I’d like to see him have a good career on and off the field.”