Ezekiel Elliott proved his value to the Cowboys and took over the NFL rushing lead last week.
Los Angeles running back Todd Gurley was only a few yards in front of Elliott following the Rams’ fireworks in a 54-51 victory over the Chiefs last week. But Gurley had just 55 yards on 12 carries in that pass-heavy game.
Elliott answered on Thursday by gaining 121 yards on 26 totes in the Cowboys’ victory over the Redskins on Thanksgiving. Elliott now has 1,074 yards through 11 games, 31 yards in front of Gurley after the Rams’ bye in Week 12.
The Cowboys’ star running back also leads the NFL in carries with 217, 7 ahead of Gurley and 31 clear of Pittsburgh’s James Conner in third place. That’s a bit of a concern for Dallas as the work load is starting to take a toll.
Elliott was limited in practice on Sunday with hip soreness, though he was not listed on Monday’s injury report.
“We anticipate him practicing today,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said on Monday. “He was dealing with hip soreness coming out of the game. That’s why he was limited yesterday.”
COLOMBO MAKING AN IMPACT: The Cowboys’ three game winning streak came in the wake of a couple of bye week moves that included acquiring Amari Cooper and promoting assistant offensive line coach Marc Colombo after the team fired Paul Alexander.
Since Colombo became the team’s O-line coach, running back Ezekiel Elliott has three-straight 100-yard rushing games.
“It’s Wednesday for us, but he’s juiced up, he’s amped up like it’s game day,” Elliott said on Sunday. “When a guy brings energy like that, it’s contagious.”
Dallas coach Jason Garrett said Colombo is well suited for his job on the sideline and the Cowboys expected that even from the time the former offensive lineman retired in 2012. Colombo, a member of the band Free Reign, took a shot at that side of life between his retirement and his return to the Dallas organization in 2014.
“Oh I think he probably realized that the rock n’ roll world and the acting world is a little bit challenging,” Garrett said. “He and I had a good conversation when he retired. I said you should go pursue those things if that’s what you want to do. But know that we want to get you back here at some point. I think he pursued them for a couple years and decided that football is what he loved and what he was probably best at.”
GALLUP BACK FOR GAME DAY: Cowboys rookie wide receiver Michael Gallup suffered a personal tragedy the same day that Dallas defeated the Falcons in Atlanta two weeks ago.
Gallup learned in the locker room that his brother, Andrew, had committed suicide. The Dallas receiver grew up near Atlanta and had family at the game. He stayed back in Atlanta with his family while the team returned to Texas.
Gallup didn’t practice last week, but came back in time to play in the Cowboys’ 31-23 win over Washington on Thanksgiving. He caught 2 passes for 19 yards.
“I sat down with my mom and I asked her, ‘Am I good to come back and play?’ and she said, ‘Of course, go have fun,’” Gallup said. “So it was very important to me to play in that game.”