Ezekiel Elliott had only two 100-yard games in 2021, and none came in the final 12 weeks of the regular season. The Cowboys running back was running on one leg, having partially torn a posterior cruciate ligament in Week 4.
He never considered sitting out.
“I mean, shoot, I think I knew I was tough,’’ Elliott said, via David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. “I think I knew I could play through injuries, so. . . . It was definitely tough. But I mean, it’s my job.’’
Elliott did not require surgery to repair the knee, and it healed a couple of months after the season. He’s healthy and strong and said he feels 100 percent.
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy recently told reporters Elliott was clocked at 22 mph in one practice session.
“That might be wind-aided,’’ Elliott said, laughing.
Elliott is entering his seventh season with the Cowboys. An eighth is not guaranteed, because he has no guaranteed money remaining after this season. It seems likely the Cowboys won’t pay $10.9 million in base salary and take a $16.72 million cap charge for Elliott in 2023.
So, this could be his last season in Dallas.
“I mean, I control what I can control,’’ Elliott said. “I focus on what’s in the near future. I’m not really worried about what’s going to be going on after next season unless we’re going on tour for winning the Super Bowl.’’
Elliott fell out of the conversation as one of the league’s best backs the past two seasons. He averaged 4.1 yards per carry and 61.9 yards per game combined in 2020-21, but quarterback Dak Prescott calls Elliott the best back in the league when healthy.
Elliott is healthy and seemingly has something to prove.
“I think every year we’ve got something to prove,’’ Elliott said, matter of factly.