Ezekiel Elliott seeking 10,000 yards to have a chance at a gold jacket

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It’s possible, and likely probable without a paycut for 2023, that Ezekiel Elliott is playing his final season with the Cowboys. He has insisted for months now that he’s not looking that far ahead.

But he is looking even farther ahead in his career.

The running back wants to play long enough to reach 10,000 yards. He currently ranks 58th in NFL history with 7,386 yards.

“Obviously, that’s a goal, winning a Super Bowl, getting a gold jacket,” Elliott said, via Jon Machota of TheAthletic.com. “There’s not many guys with gold jackets that didn’t rush for 10,000 yards.”

Earl Campbell, Jim Taylor, Larry Csonka and Terrell Davis are among the running backs to earn Hall of Fame induction without hitting the magic number. But 10,000 yards also doesn’t guarantee induction. Sixteen of the 31 rushers to reach 10,000 yards have a gold jacket, with Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson not yet eligible for enshrinement.

Elliott’s yards per game have fallen every one of his six seasons to a low of 58.9 last season when he played most of the season with a knee injury. At his current career average of 83.9 yards per game, he will need 31 games to reach 10,000 yards.

Elliott, a two-time rushing champion, a three-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro, is not expected to play in the preseason as he readies for his seventh NFL season.

“I’ve been playing football 20 years,” Elliott said. “This is my seventh year (in the NFL). I’ve seen a lot of football. I don’t think I need a preseason game, especially with the joint practices (with the Broncos and Chargers).”

What he does need is a good regular season to get back into the conversation as one of the league’s best running backs. That will get him a better pay day in 2023 than another season like the past two.

12 responses to “Ezekiel Elliott seeking 10,000 yards to have a chance at a gold jacket

  1. Too old. He’s not young and hungry anymore. He got paid and slowed down. He’s still good, but he’s a shadow of his former self.

  2. Running backs are interesting. Adrian Peterson’s arc is kind of what I expected from Zeke. Excellence when young with a slow decline that accelerates at around age 30. Zeke looked like a HOFer his first season and has declined in the years since—rapidly since signing his extension. I don’t get what Jerry continues to see that is different from what outside observers can see. Is it that Jerry just doesn’t want to look like an idiot for caving to Zeke’s contract demands sooner than he had to, and right as his decline became obvious? I don’t know. I do know that Zeke looks like another player that has failed to live up to his contract.

  3. I’m glad he’s going to treat himself after 10k yards. He ain’t getting one any other way.

  4. Gold Jacket?!! Are you kidding me?!! He’s a nobody with some decent stats…He has better chance of getting a Master’s Green jacket

  5. Ezekiel Elliot has 7386 career rushing yards in 88 career games. His average yards per game has dropped every year he’s been in the league, from 108.7 in his rookie year to 58.9 last year.
    None of that suggests hall of fame potential, especially for someone who’s already declining rapidly even before he hit his late twenties.
    And for those thinking of one of the weaker resumes that still gained entry, Terrell Davis had 7607 yards in 78 games. And note Elliot is now the same age Davis was when he got injured and his career unravelled.
    The only gold jacket Elliot will wear in the future is one he will buy off the rack.

  6. It’s hard to understand the Cowboy’s mediocre results over the last few years with all of the “team first” guys like Elliott…

  7. A RB in the prime years of his career who isn’t even the best RB on his own team is not going to the HOF

  8. 1st off I’m a Vikings fan but will give you some respect. Since it’s a contract year for Zeke they’re going to run him in the ground but you have a decent backup I predict you guys going 10-7 with a wildcard win.

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