Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is showing signs of more mature behavior, which is huge for both him individually and for the team.
Even entering just his second year in the league, Dak Prescott is the firm leader of the Dallas Cowboys offense. Yes, he’s aided by a phenomenal offensive line and tremendous skill-position players. However, he’s the guy that the offense feeds off and follows. What’s interesting, however, is how little you hear about running back Ezekiel Elliott in that regard.
Obviously playing quarterback works in Prescott’s favor in this instance. With that being said, though, you’d think that the offense would look a little more toward Elliott, who led the league in rushing as a rookie, than they do for leadership. A big reason why that may not be the case, however, is his maturity.
No one can question the running back on the field. The worst thing he’s done there to this point is jump in a Salvation Army kettle. If that’s the most “reprehensible” thing that he does, everything’s just fine. Off the field, unfortunately, has been a different set of issues.
Between the domestic violence claims (though their validity has been questioned severely and legal charges dismissed) coming into the league and the infamous St. Patrick’s Day instance with him pulling a woman’s top down, Elliott has found himself in hot water off the field quite a bit for only entering Year 2. Luckily for him and the Cowboys, though, that might be a thing of the past.
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Why? Because it appears as if he’s maturing and learning from his mistakes and transgressions.
According to a report from Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram, Elliott has made strides in this regard. Elliott noted that he was staying at home more often, more or less staying out of places where trouble can find him. He finished off this part of talking with the media by saying:
“I think it’s just life,” said Elliott, who was wearing a Stetson hat when he met with the media Wednesday. “You learn from your mistakes, and if you don’t, it can be brutal. So it’s just part of life. You’ve got to learn from your mistake.”
Obviously there are a number of a cliches in what Elliott is saying here. But with him backing it up with his actions — staying at home — the cliches are quite pertinent. Yes, Elliott’s actions on St. Patrick’s Day and whatever happened beforehand can’t be glossed over. However, the most important part was that he matured and learned. From these comments, it appears that he’s doing just that, staying out of the limelight for his off-field behavior.
That alone is a relief and a comfort to the Cowboys moving forward. However, it could also have its on-fireld benefits as well. With an increased level of maturity comes an increased level of trust. Both teammates and coaches will further respect Elliott as a leader if he can continue to make strides in terms of his maturity. And the result will be the future of the offense being looked to as leaders.
In that scenario, it’s hard to see how the Dallas Cowboys wouldn’t be heading towards sustained success.
Source: Fox Sports