By Mike Fisher
FRISCO (105.3 The Fan) – “We don’t finger-point in this locker room,’’ said Ezekiel Elliott in the wake of the Dallas Cowboys’ 35-31 loss to the rival Green Bay Packers. “We’re a family.’’
The Cowboys are about to learn if these are the right words, the healing words or only words that guys use to fill the void and to bide the time through a season that so far isn’t going their way.
Of course, it’s still early. But Dallas is 2-3, having lost two straight, both at home. Owner Jerry Jones has issued what some could construe as a divisive threat with his “respect for the flag’’ edict. The defense has been victimized all too often, most recently with an Aaron Rodgers late game-winning drive that causes folks to naturally wonder if the defense “can be trusted.’’
One of the tricks in remaining unified? Make sure Zeke and the offense don’t find themselves feeling that way.
“We knew the caliber of player Aaron Rodgers is, and we’ve seen it the last few times we played him,’’ Elliott said. “He’s doing what he does best: Going and finishing the game, and winning the ball game. I mean, we put up a good effort. We fought really hard.
“I’m proud of these guys. We just gotta keep working and get better.”
Elliott, who offered up 116 yards on 29 carries against the Packers, did his part. Dallas’ offense has reached the 30-point mark in each of these two losses, and QB Dak Prescott was almost as spectacular as Rodgers here. But getting Elliott, the 2016 NFL rushing champ, to bust out consistently going forward would be huge. He is averaging 100.5 yards per game in the last two weeks, but the defense has struggled to close out games.
“Definitely very frustrating,” said Elliott. “(But) when we’re down, they’re going to pick us up. When they’re down, it’s our job to pick them up. … I believe in our defense. They’ve been playing pretty good this year, just getting a lot of pressure on the quarterback. I believe in them. We believe in each other. We’re a family, like I said.’’
More support might be needed for Elliott himself as he awaits word from yet another courtroom on his status for the year. But on the field? Elliott is doing his thing … no finger-pointing needed.