Ezekiel Elliott had the worst game of his young NFL career Sunday, made even worse by a blatant decision to give up on a play during the Dallas Cowboys’ ugly loss to the Denver Broncos.
The Cowboys running back showed no interest in trying to tackle Chris Harris Jr. after Harris intercepted a pass during the Broncos’ eventual 42-17 win in Denver.
Elliott, who is paid handsomely for his ability to run, decided not to run at all after Harris. For what it’s worth, the Cowboys were losing 28-10 at the time of the pick. Harris returned the pick 23 yards before being tackled.
Elliott’s final stat line doesn’t paint a pretty picture, either. He finished with just 8 yards on nine carries.
Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson said on NFL Network that Elliott “quit” on his team, not just for the lack of effort but for his overall attitude and approach to the game.
Longtime NFL writer Peter King in his Monday Morning Quarterback column had even stronger words about the Elliott situation, even calling on the Cowboys to discipline the running back.
“To give up on that play was horrendous,” King wrote. “Dallas coach Jason Garrett has to do something about it — if he has not already. Owner Jerry Jones should back his coach 100 percent when Garrett does discipline Elliott. And if Garrett does not, then there’s something seriously wrong in Dallas.”
At least one person has Elliott’s back, though. Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter said Monday morning on FS1’s “First Things First” that while he doesn’t condone what Elliott did, he understands why it happened … because other players have done it before.
Regardless, it’s a tough look for Elliott, who already was a center of controversy this offseason.
Thumbnail photo via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images