Elliott finished with 49 yards on 12 carries and caught eight passes, but for just 31 yards. However, it was the breakaways in consecutive first and second quarter readings that changed the game.
The first fumble came after catching a short pass from Andy Dalton on the second down, but safety Budda Baker stripped the ball and Jordan Phillips recovered. Eleven players later, Kyler Murray and Christian Kirk met for a 6-yard flip for a touchdown.
Two games into the next possession, Elliott escaped again, with Phillips pushing the free ball to Dallas 30. Five games later, Arizona running back Kenyan Drake scored the Cardinals’ second touchdown and gave them a lead. of 14-0.
“I mean, when you grope every game, obviously the teams are going to get hooked on it and go for it more,” Elliott said. “That’s even more of a reason I need to understand, man. I don’t want to keep talking about it, but I have to find a way to figure it out. ”
When the Cowboys took over after Elliott’s second fumble, Tony Pollard was the running back. When Elliott returned to the field after eight shots, there was a whisper from the crowd.
“Every player who plays in this league, no different in our football team, if you don’t take care of the football it affects your opportunities,” said coach Mike McCarthy. “Tony had an opportunity, and I thought he did some really good things with his opportunities. ”
Elliott lost four career-high fumbles in six games and opponents turned every takeout into a touchdown. According to research from ESPN Stats & Information, Elliot lost more fumbles in 133 races than the other nine NFL Top 10 rushers combined in 1,104 touches (three).
“I’m giving the ball away,” Elliott said. “I wasn’t helping my team. I think they did the right thing and gave some of these reps to [Pollard], but I can’t do this. I have to be a guy this team can lean on, especially at times like right now with so many of our starters injured and not playing. So this is not acceptable, and I have to understand that. ”
Elliott said his focus is on keeping the ball tight in practice. The Cowboys practice ball handling exercises daily.
“I just have to have a short memory,” Elliott said. “I have to put that behind me, play some good ball and get started. ”
Elliott has played six games of his career without an outing from 100 yards. He experienced a five-game drought in Weeks 10-14 last season, but he hasn’t played more than two games to open a season without a 100-yard performance going into 2020.
Part of that can be pinned on a defense that struggled, but 84 of the 218 points the Cowboys (2-4) have allowed this season have resulted in turnovers.
“He understands that. He knows it, ”said Dalton. “Zeke is going to fix this thing. ”
Elliott also knows he needs to fix it fast.
“At the end of the day, Zeke is our bell cow, and we have to get it right,” McCarthy said. “He’s part of the plan. It will be part of the success. We have to do it right. We need to take care of football, and that’s for everyone who touches football on our team. “