Jerry Jones thinks Ezekiel Elliott has to be ‘the focus’ of Cowboys’ run game despite struggles

Jerry Jones is still all in on Ezekiel Elliott.

While the Cowboys running back is fresh off his worst season in the league, and Dallas has Tony Pollard at the ready if needed, Jones said Saturday that he wants Elliott to be the “focus” of the team’s run game both in Week 1 and throughout the season.

“Zeke’s gotta be our feature, and he is our feature,” the Cowboys owner said, via the NFL Network. “We can feature him in a lot of different ways … It's critical that we make Zeke, because he's capable of being that, really the focus of what we're doing.”

Elliott racked up 1,002 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns with the Cowboys last season, his sixth with the team. He averaged just 58.9 rushing yards and 13.9 rushing attempts per game, both career-lows.

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Naturally, coming off the six-year, $90 million contract extension he received before the 2019 season, there has been plenty of criticism surrounding Elliott this fall.

Pollard, on the other hand, is coming off a career-best season. He had 719 rushing yards and 337 receiving yards last season, and is a tremendous option for the Cowboys offense.

While Jones is insistent that Elliott is the focus of their running game, he recognizes the role that Pollard needs to have.

“Now then, Pollard, there's plenty of room for Pollard,” Jones said, via the NFL Network. “There's plenty of room for Pollard when Zeke's in there. Pollard needs to get the ball."

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott seemed to echo Jones in that regard on Saturday, too.

In his eyes, there’s no competition between the two running backs. They’ve got to work together.

“Those are two guys without egos. They’re each other's biggest fan,” Prescott said on the NFL Network. “When one’s in the game, the other one is trying to support him. But I think you’ll see a lot more of them in the game together in whatever package we’re getting at. When you have two guys like that, you’ve got to get them on the field. You’ve got to get them the ball.”

Jerry Jones on Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott
Jerry Jones still wants running back Ezekiel Elliott to be the main focus of their run game this fall. (AP/Tony Gutierrez)