Ezekiel Elliott played a makeshift game of basketball in the laundry hampers at The Star all week. After one victory, the rookie running back ran around the locker room screaming, “Down goes Frazier!”
He could have said the same to the Cincinnati Bengals after a 60-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, the Dallas Cowboys’ last score in a 28-14 beatdown.
“Man, Zeke is a monster, like a real-life monster,” Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams said. “For somebody to be that young and come in here and run the ball like that, it makes me want to block. I know what he’s going to do, he’s going to finish or just like today, he can pop it.”
The fourth overall draft pick had another record-setting day.
Elliott ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns on only 15 carries against a defense that had not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 15 games and had not allowed a rushing touchdown this season.
“I’ve been playing the whole season with a chip on my shoulder honestly,” Elliott said. “You want to block out the outside. But… as a competitor, that fires me up. That makes me want to go. Coming into this game, not many people had faith in us. There was a little chirping over there. But then we came out, and we handled business.”
After rushing for 134 yards on 41 carries in the first two games, Elliott has three consecutive 100-yard games. It marks the first time in team history that a running back has had three games in a row in a single season with at least 130 yards.
“If you watched that film from Week 1, and you watched it now, it looks like two different backs, and honestly that’s how it’s supposed to be,” Elliott said. “You’re supposed to get better as the season goes on.”
Elliott has 412 yards on 68 carries the past three weeks. He leads the league with 546 yards, the most yards in team history by a rookie running back and the fourth-highest total by a rookie in NFL history.
Only Eric Dickerson (645), Adrian Peterson (607) and Billy Sims (560) had more rushing yards through five games as rookies.
“He’s a really good player, and continues to get better,” Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said. “He loves playing football, so he takes that as a challenge. I think he realizes after those first couple of games that these guys are good on the other side of the ball, and he’s playing a really high level of football right now.”
Elliott’s 60-yard run behind right guard Zack Martin came on the Cowboys’ first possession of the second half, sticking a fork in the Bengals.
Elliott said it was the “home run” he had been looking for all season.
“It looked beautiful,” he said. “Running backs love runs where they don’t get touched so all I had to was to turn the jets on.”
Left guard Ron Leary knew Elliott was fast, but not that fast, saying, “He took off, and I looked up on the screen, he was gone.”
Now you see him. Now you don’t.
“It’s good to have that kind of back, that big, that multifaceted who can run that fast,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.