Ezekiel Elliott felt a “little rusty” in his return

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The Cowboys signed Ezekiel Elliott to a six-year, $90 million contract extension. They didn’t sign him to be a complementary player, but that’s exactly what the running back was Sunday as he works his way back from a contract holdout.

Elliott worked out in Cabo while his teammates were at training camp, returning to the team Wednesday after signing his deal.

The Cowboys limited Elliott’s work, taking a deliberate approach in an attempt to prevent a soft-tissue injury. He had 13 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown.

“I felt about the same. Obviously, I was a little rusty,” Elliott said. “I didn’t play the best game. I have a lot I can improve on. But that’s going to take time, and it’s about getting more reps and being out there longer.”

With Dak Prescott throwing for the second-most yards in his career with 405, tying a career-high with four touchdown passes and getting the first perfect passer rating in team history, the Cowboys didn’t need Elliott.

Elliott had 14 touches, including a catch for 10 yards. It was his fewest touches since Week Two of the 2017 season when he had 13 touches.

“I thought Zeke did a good job,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Obviously, he missed a lot of time in training camp and practiced just three days this past week, so we wanted to be mindful of how many reps we gave him in the game. I thought we did a pretty good job of that. He ended up being in a couple of longer drives in the first half, so I think he got up over 35 snaps in the game. But it seemed like he handled it well. It looked like he ran the way Zeke runs. I know over time when he practices a little bit more and gets a little more game experience, he’ll get more comfortable. But he’s a really good football player, and it’s good to have him back.”