Ezekiel Elliott might have a hard time picking the best victory he’s had the past 48 hours. Was it Judge Amos L. Mazzant III’s decision in Elliott’s favor on Friday, granting him a temporary restraining order? Or was it Sunday night when he had 29 touches for 140 yards in the Cowboys’ 19-3 victory over the Giants?
“It just feels good to be out here,” Elliott said, speaking for the first time since the team’s minicamp in June. “It’s definitely been a tough last 14 months, and at times, it’s gotten so hard you start to lose faith. But just being able to come in and be with these boys every day has kept me focused and made me not give up. I keep going.”
Elliott, 22, admitted he doesn’t know how long he will remain in the lineup, with other courtrooms and other hearings sure to come, but the Giants wish he wasn’t there Sunday. Elliott had 24 carries for 104 yards and five catches for 36 yards.
“It is what it is,” Elliott said of his battle with the NFL. “I’ve kind of just stopped worrying about it because it’s really out of my hands at this point. I’m just really focused right now at being the running back I need to be for this team to be successful so we can accomplish what we want to. Just the main focus and keep playing at a high level.”
The NFL investigated the Cowboys star running back for more than a year after an ex girlfriend accused Elliott of domestic violence before Commissioner Roger Goodell handed Elliott a six-game suspension. Elliott admitted “the whole situation has been a distraction.”
“Just kind of your name being dragged through the mud,” Elliott said. “I mean, it’s been 14 months just kind of being associated with that. That’s tough.”
Elliott characterized his legal victory Friday as relief.
“Just relieved from the fact that I finally get a fair trial,” Elliott said. “I finally get a chance to prove my innocence. And I’m just happy I’m able to be with these guys for as long as it’s permitted and just not having to miss time and not being away from them.”