The Dallas Cowboys couldn’t find a way to overcome the division-rival New York Giants on Sunday.
For Dallas, the 20-19 loss was especially difficult given that it had maintained a lead for a good portion of the game. A bone-headed late-game play be receiver Terrance Williams helped New York come away with a somewhat surprising one-point win (watch here).
Not necessarily happy with his own performance, rookie first-round pick Ezekiel Elliott sounded off about how his regular season debut went.
Ezekiel Elliott: "I think I was average [Sunday]. That's not why I was brought here to be average, so we've got a lot of work to get done."
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 12, 2016
To be clear, Elliott was not great in defeat. He put up just 51 yards on 20 attempts for an average of 2.5 yards per run. The rookie No. 4 overall pick also tallied just one catch for a single yard. Though, the rookie did add the first touchdown of his career (watch here).
Elliott did struggle with finding open holes to run through and hesitate multiple times in the backfield. That’s something we didn’t see often during his Ohio State days.
The young ball carrier is also correct in assuming that he wasn’t picked up to be average. Any time a running back is selected within the top five of the NFL draft, he’s expected to be elite out of the gate.
That’s only magnified in today’s NFL, where running backs themselves aren’t valued at the level we saw in the past.
In any event, it’s just one game. Elliott’s critique of himself might be warranted. But let’s hold off form reading too much into this.