Posted on October 30, 2017, by Travis Pulver
Ezekiel Elliot has a big day Monday. That’s when he goes back to court to find out if he’ll be able to continue playing this season or if his six-game suspension starts with next week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
“We’re confident in our argument,” Elliott said (ESPN). “We’re confident that I’ll be on the field for the rest of the year.”
So, heading into Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins, it would have been understandable if he had been a little distracted. It would also be understandable if the Cowboys tried to feed him all day long. Since there is a chance he may have six-weeks off, they might as well make sure he’s good and sore.
But it wouldn’t matter if he couldn’t focus on the game at hand.
“That’s our job, to check everything at the door,” Elliott said (ESPN). “I’ve said this before but ownership, the coaching staff, my teammates have played a big role just allowing me to be able to focus on this game and focus on what I need to be for this team and I thank them for that.”
As it turns out, the offense did decide to lean on Elliot and handed him the ball a career-high 33 times. He answered the call by running for 150 yards and two touchdowns to lead the team to a 33-19 victory over the Redskins.
“He’s hard enough when you have holes filled, let alone when you’re giving him a clear running lane,” Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said (ESPN). “It is never going to be easy.”
Elliot didn’t start the game off on the right foot. He fumbled on his first carry of the guy. Washington recovered and eventually took the lead with a 38-yard field goal. But he made up for it with his first touchdown of the day on the next Dallas drive.
The defense had some trouble slowing Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense down at first. They were able to keep them out of the end zone but gave up points on Washington’s first three drives. It was almost the first four drives, but Tyrone Crawford got a hand on a field goal attempt.
Orlando Scandrick scooped the ball up and returned it to the Washington four-yard line. Two plays later, Elliot scored his second touchdown of the day to put the Cowboys ahead 14-13.
Washington’s defense stepped up its game in the second half. But due to a pair of fumbles and two three and outs, the Dallas offense didn’t need to do much—and it didn’t. They had to resort to field goal attempts on their first four drives of the half. So, rather than blow the Redskins out, they held a 26-13 lead with 8:43 to play.
Cousins got the Redskins back in the game with a 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. But they missed the extra point attempt and trailed by seven, 26-19.
Dallas turned to Elliot to run as much time off the clock as possible—and it nearly worked. The Cowboys got the ball with 4:30 to play. A handful of Elliot runs, a couple of timely passes and a Dak Prescott run later they punted the ball back to Washington with 54 seconds to play.
With the passing game Cousins brings to the table, it was enough time for the Redskins to pull off the comeback. But two plays later Byron Jones intercepted Cousins and returned it for a touchdown to make the final score 33-19, Dallas.
With the win, Dallas improves to 4-3 on the season. They will have a tough time improving to 5-3 next week when they take on the Kansas City Chiefs.
Washington dips down to 3-4 with the loss. It will not get any easier next with a trip to Seattle on deck.