Ezekiel Elliott will play Sunday, something the Cowboys have expected and prepared for all along. The question is: How will the star running back play?
“He seems very focused, locked in on meetings, the walk-through,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “. . . He’s done an excellent job in his preparation.”
The timing of Harold Henderson’s appeal decision to uphold Elliott’s six-game suspension necessitated the NFL pushing it back to Week 2. However, Judge Amos L. Mazzaint III is expected to rule Friday on Elliott’s preliminary injunction motion.
Elliott attended a more than two-hour hearing in a Sherman, Texas, courtroom Tuesday in an effort to block the suspension pending outcome of the lawsuit filed by Elliott on Friday.
“He’s able to play in this ball game on Sunday,” Garrett said. “That’s really where our focus is. Nothing really beyond that. That’s what we’ve been planning for all along.”
Elliott missed practice last week while preparing for and attending his three-day appeal hearing in New York. He missed Tuesday’s walk-through, though Garrett said Elliott has done “everything we’ve asked him to do.”
Garrett also insists Elliott is not distracted, using the word “focused” several times in his answers about Elliott.
“I think the biggest thing for all of us is to focus on what we need to do each and every day,” Garrett said. “That’s been a point that we’ve tried to emphasize to our team for a long, long time. Our team understands the importance of that. In order to be your best, you’ve got to focus on yourself and what you need to do in your preparation to play your best football. So that’s really where our focus is. We don’t spend a lot of time on other stuff.”
Elliott did not have his best games in two losses to the Giants last season, totaling 44 carries for 158 yards and a touchdown.