EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Ezekiel Elliott will enter next week’s Dallas reunion with some momentum after his best performance as a Patriot to date.

Relatively quiet in his first two games with New England, the former Cowboys star spearheaded the Patriots’ rushing attack in Sunday’s 15-10 win over the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

Elliott rushed for 80 yards on 16 carries, averaging 5.0 yards per attempt as part of a run-heavy Patriots game plan.

“I think we knew that it was going to be a running game,” Elliott said after the game. “So we were just ready to come out and run the ball as much as we needed to. Our O-line did a great job of just being physical all game and at the line of scrimmage.”

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Elliott topped 80 rushing yards and 5 yards per carry just twice in his final season with Dallas, by which point Tony Pollard had surpassed him as the team’s top backfield option.

The former All-Pro is the 1B to Rhamondre Stevenson’s 1A in New England, but he found more success Sunday than Stevenson, who rushed 19 times for 59 yards and dropped a pass on third down.

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It was a breakout performance for Elliott, who signed midway through training camp to give the Patriots’ backfield some much-needed depth. He totaled just 42 rushing yards on 12 attempts in Weeks 1 and 2 and had a costly lost fumble in his New England debut.

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“Zeke’s done a good job for us,” head coach Bill Belichick said. “I think we’re getting a little bit of a feel for some of the things with him and vice versa. I thought he had a couple of real good runs (on Sunday).

“We’ll look at the film and look a little more carefully, but I thought he did a nice job. He got his pads down, got some tough yards. His vision was good on a couple of cutback plays.”

Elliott celebrated the win on social media with the caption: “Need that!”

Next up for Elliott and the 1-2 Patriots: a trip to JerryWorld (aka AT&T Stadium), where the veteran back played his home games for his first seven seasons. Elliott told reporters he was “disappointed” to be cut by the Cowboys this past offseason but is excited to square off against them.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “It’s going to be fun to go back to Dallas, a place where I spent so much time and a stadium I’ve played in a lot. It’ll be fun.”

The Cowboys routed the New York Giants and Jets in their first two games by a combined score of 70-10, but they were stunned by the underdog Cardinals on Sunday, losing 28-16 in Arizona.

Featured image via Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports Images