When Ezekiel Elliott signed his six-year, $90 million contract extension last week, the timetable officially started. With the team paying him so much money, it was time for the former fourth overall draft pick in 2016 to justify the payday and start putting up yards and touchdowns at a rapid pace. Well, Zeke did what was required and got in the end zone for the first time this season.
With the Cowboys leading 28-10 following four touchdown throws by quarterback Dak Prescott, it was finally time for Elliott to shine. He responded by taking a handoff on second-and-five late in the third quarter, and rushing to the left side of the line.
Finding paydirt wasn't easy for Zeke, but he proved why he is one of the best players at his position by fighting through a tackle and staying upright long enough to break the plane. This score and the subsequent extra point by Brett Maher gave the Cowboys a 35-10 lead late in the third quarter.
Zeke's week:— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 8, 2019
Get paid ✔️
Get a TD ✔️ pic.twitter.com/YoQYzxoFWr
Elliott actually started his day slowly, registering his first action as a starter since signing the contract extension. He tallied seven carries for 26 yards in the first two quarters, averaging 3.7 yards-per-attempt, while the rookie Tony Pollard registered four carries of his own. However, Zeke slowly began to pick up the pace and soon looked like the running back that Cowboys fans know and love.
Fortunately, Dak Prescott had the passing attack performing masterfully while Zeke got acclimated in his return. The soon-to-be-wealthy quarterback threw touchdowns to his tight ends in Jason Witten and Blake Jarwin while also finding receivers Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb for big gains. Prescott found seven different targets during the first half alone en route to 20-26 for 256 yards and three touchdowns while keeping the offense moving. He even capped off the first half with a touchdown pass to Amari Cooper in the corner of the end zone to prove that both players deserve to be paid in the coming days.
Once the second half began, it seemed like the perfect time to get the ball in Zeke's hands, but the Cowboys continued to rely on the passing attack. Prescott threw a fourth touchdown, this time to free-agent acquisition Randall Cobb, and gave his team a huge lead over the rival Giants.
However, Zeke saw opportunities late in the third quarter and increased his statistical output to 13 carries for 51 yards and the one touchdown. These weren't the numbers that the fans were used to seeing, but the fact remained that Zeke is still an effective running back.