Ezekiel Elliott ready to prove he’s “the best back in the game”

AP

Everyone, even Fantasy Football players, seem to have forgotten Ezekiel Elliott. He’s the guy who led the league in rushing with 1,631 yards as a rookie in 2016 and the guy Michael Irvin predicts will break the NFL rushing record this season.

Remember him?

Elliott said he has something to prove after serving a six-game suspension last season.

“That’s exactly it: I want to prove I’m the best back in the game,” Elliott said Wednesday, via David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. “That’s what my focus this offseason was.”

Le'Veon Bell, despite his holdout, Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, Kareem Hunt, David Johnson and Alvin Kamara seem to be generating a bigger buzz than the Cowboys star running back.

Maybe it was that Elliott only ran for 983 yards and seven touchdowns in 10 games last season.

“The chip on my shoulder is just not having a full year last year and not performing the way I believe I could have,” Elliott said.

The Cowboys repeatedly have said getting the cloud of the suspension behind him will make for a better player this season. Coach Jason Garrett said it again Wednesday, mentioning a “much more focused” running back who’s “much more ready to go” heading into this season than last.

“He’s improved in every area,” Garrett said. “When he came in, he was beyond his years in terms of his understanding and his instincts and feel for the game. But I think the thing that impresses me the most about him is he’s had a lot of success early on in his career, but he wants to be great. He works at it every day, at every part of his game. You talk about understanding the running game, what we’re doing, the schemes we use, how they align against what the defenses are trying to do, then protection and route running and all the different aspects of his game. He’s a very serious-minded guy who wants to be great, and he works hard every day at it.”

Elliott was asked if he runs better with a chip on his shoulder.

“We’ll see,” Elliott said.