When Ezekiel Elliott was drafted by the Cowboys, he was drafted into running back heaven.
Elliott is currently nursing a hamstring injury, hasn't fully practiced since August 2, and won't suit up against the Miami Dolphins in the Cowboys' second preseason game on Friday.
But when Elliott finally returns to the team, he believes he'll have an easy job behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News reports.
"I think I probably have one of the easiest jobs in America," he said. "I get to run behind the best O-line in America, run through those huge holes, they make your job easy."
Elliott returned to practice in a limited role today, participating mostly in individual drills. It's expected that he will return to full team drills as soon as Tuesday next week, and possibly make his NFL debut in the third preseason game against the Seahawks in Seattle on August 25.
Elliott doesn't feel like the missed time will be an issue, even if he admitted that sitting out practice over the last two weeks had been a “mental grind,” Drew Davison of The Star-Telegram writes.
“I don’t feel behind at all,” Elliott said. “I’ve done a good job of paying attention and getting my mental reps. Today or even yesterday when I came out for the first walk-through I didn’t feel like I missed that much time. I just have to knock a little rust off and finally get back to work.”
“It made me real anxious honestly. I haven’t missed any games,” Elliott said. “That was a little bit tough, but I know what’s more important right now is making sure I’m getting healthy and getting ready for the season.”
The Cowboys have been careful with Elliott's return in order to avoid any kind of setback that could lead to Elliott missing time at the start of the regular season.
And he'll need to be fully healthy at the start of the season, because the Cowboys' first regular season opponent, the New York Giants, will be hell-bent on stopping the Cowboys ground game and show off what they got when they invested in the third most expensive defensive line in the league.
Of course, to stop Elliott, they'll first have to stop the Cowboys O-line from creating holes for Elliott to scoot through, which is a pretty tall task all by itself. But if they commit to stopping the run, the Cowboys should find plenty of opportunities through the air.
Almost sounds like the Cowboys planned this from the start.