Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott had by far the worst game of his career on Sunday, managing just nine carries for eight yards in a blowout loss to the Broncos. And Elliott is hearing it today for what appeared to be a lack of effort.
Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson was particularly vocal in his criticism of Elliott.
“I didn’t like the way he quit today. I didn’t like that. He absolutely quit on his team today,” Tomlinson said of Elliott on NFL Network.
Asked to elaborate, Tomlinson said Elliott should be a team leader, and instead he looked like he was bringing the team down.
“First, his attitude on the sideline,” Tomlinson said. “Clearly, he didn’t have any communication with his teammates. But also, he didn’t want to talk to his teammates. Sometimes when things are going wrong, as a leader of that team as a captain, you got to step up and rally the troops. You’ve got to go to the offensive line and say, ‘I know it’s tough but let’s keep battling, let’s keep fighting.’ You got to go to the quarterback and say, ‘Hey man, I’m not getting it done today – you got to step it up.’ You got to rally the troops. . . . They need him to do that because last year, he led the league in rushing. So, everybody is looking at him as the top dog. So, if you want to be the top dog, you got to do it on and off the field.”
Elliott also appeared to quit on an interception, standing and watching instead of trying to make the tackle. It was an ugly game all around for the Cowboys, and especially for Elliott.