Jerry Jones says Cowboys won't lessen Ezekiel Elliott's workload

ByTodd Archer ESPN logo
Tuesday, November 29, 2016

FRISCO, Texas -- Ezekiel Elliott should not expect a smaller workload in the final few weeks of the regular season.

"The more we give Ezekiel the ball, then I think the better,"Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Tuesday. "We're winning with that. We're wearing them down on defense."

Elliott has 243 carries for 1,199 yards with 11 touchdowns and is on pace for 354 carries and 1,744 yards. That would be the most carries by a rookie in team history and the sixth most overall. In 2014, DeMarco Murray had 392 carries. Emmitt Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher, had seasons with 377 (1995), 373 (1992), 368 (1994) and 365 carries (1991).

"I look back at Emmitt Smith. Everybody expressed, including ourselves, concern because Emmitt was carrying such a load," Jones said. "And of course I think he carried the ball more than I think anyone has in their career in the NFL. But Emmitt was solid. He was certainly productive."

Elliott has had at least 20 carries in nine of the Cowboys' 11 games but only two with more than 25 carries. He has five 100-yard games this season.

In his final two seasons at Ohio State, Elliott had 273 carries for 1,878 yards in 15 games in 2014 and 289 carries for 1,821 yards in 13 games in 2015.

"I don't believe in the rookie wall," Elliott said last week before playing the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving. "I think it's more of a mental thing. I think if you're a mentally strong individual, then you know the rookie wall doesn't even sound right. If you take care of your body and you're strong mentally, then you should be fine."