FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys offense has all its pieces in place in the 2019 NFL season opener against the New York Giants. And it showed in the final score. But one "piece'' is giving himself a lukewarm review.
“Obviously, I was a little rusty,” Ezekiel Elliott said after Dallas' 35-17 win. “I didn’t play the best game. I have a lot I can improve on. But that’s going to take time, and it’s about getting more reps and being out there longer.”
Head coach Jason Garrett, who oversaw a "monitoring'' of Zeke here after the two-time rushing champ joined the team just last week with his new contract after a summer-long holdout, gave a slightly more positive review.
“I thought Zeke did a good job,” Garrett said. “Obviously, he missed a lot of time in training camp and practiced just three days this past week, so we wanted to be mindful of how many reps we gave him in the game. I thought we did a pretty good job of that. He ended up being in a couple of longer drives in the first half, so I think he got up over 35 snaps in the game. But it seemed like he handled it well.''
Was Zeke Zeke? The answer is "not quite,'' and that is a scary thought for NFC East opponents who watched Sunday as Dallas' other offensive weapons clicked so ideally against a hapless Giants D.
"It looked like he ran the way Zeke runs,'' Garrett said. "I know over time when he practices a little bit more and gets a little more game experience, he’ll get more comfortable. But he’s a really good football player, and it’s good to have him back.”
Elliott finished the game with 53 yards on 13 carries (plus a 10-yard touchdown), in perfect balance with the carry numbers for rookie running back Tony Pollard and his 13 carries (for only 24 yards).
"This team is going to be special,'' Zeke said after watching buddy Dak Prescott QB the offense to such a near-ideal day. "I'm excited to be back with these guys. I think we got a great group. I'm excited for this season."
Just wait 'til he's not rusty.