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Cowboys news: Ezekiel Elliott looks great, but he knows he needs to stop fumbling

Plus other news and analyst from around the team.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Motivated Zeke Focused On Eliminating Fumbles - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com

Ezekiel Elliott vows to quit fumbling in 2021.

However, fumbling the ball is not. And that’s something the sixth-year running back vows to change as he enters the 2021 season.

“Number one fumbling the ball,” Elliott said when asked what his No. 1 focus is this season. “I’ve never been a fumbler. When you carry the ball, you kind of carry the whole hope of the whole team, organization and fan base. If you cough it up and give it to the other team, you’re letting everyone down so I mean that’s the No. 1 thing that’s my focus this year is protecting the ball.”

Zeke had six fumbles in 2020, quite a jump from his 3.5 average fumbles per season in the first four years of his career. So why the sudden changes?

“I think a lot of it is, which is hard, I’ve had to battle a wrist injury and I’ve always carried the ball in my left hand so I’m running to the right or I’m running to the left and I’ve got my right hand I’m leaving myself exposed,” Zeke explained. “That happened a couple of times. A lot of times I got loose with it, trying to make a move and let it get away from my body. But, I mean, repetition and focusing on keeping the ball close to my body and keeping it tight and just practice. That’s all it’s going to take.”

But as Zeke reiterated, it doesn’t matter why he’s fumbling, only that it stops.

“It’s my job to make sure I don’t fumble it,” he said. “I’ve just got to focus on that every day and just continue to work hard at it and fix it. It doesn’t matter.”

Lean and vaxxed, there’s no debate on commitment of Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott - Clarence Hill Jr., - Star Telegram

Zeke’s revenge tour looks to be off to a good start.

There will be no questioning Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and his commitment to doing everything he can to be the best player he can be to help his team win in 2021.

From the remaking of his body to what he has put in his body, Elliott is motivated and selfless.

The most vivid example is the shape he’s in, thanks to a rigorous offseason program that has him quicker and leaner than ever.

At 218 pounds to open training camp, Elliott says it’s the lightest he’s been since his freshman year at Ohio State, and it’s all part of his mission to rebound from the worst season of his NFL career.

Practice Points: 10 Observations From First Practice - Nick Eatman, Rob Phillips, David Helman, Dallascowboys.com

With day one in the books, the Dallas Cowboys team writers take a deeper dive into how practice went for the squad.

The offensive tackle spots will be widely-discussed throughout camp and the regular season. On the first day, it was a good sight to see left tackle Tyron Smith taking most of the reps. He returned from neck surgery that sidelined him for most of camp. But on the right side, La’el Collins split reps with Terence Steele and Ty Nsekhe as the Cowboys plan on easing him back to action. Collins had hip surgery that kept him out all of the season.

Micah Parsons is picking up right where he left off during the offseason program, as Dan Quinn continues to use him in a variety of ways, including both Mike linebacker and as a standup pass rusher. The rookie linebacker had a fun sequence of reps against Ezekiel Elliott, as he continually found himself in open space against the star running back. Obviously, tackling isn’t going to happen in an unpadded training camp practice. But seeing Parsons and Elliott square off against each other was a fun teaser of what’s to come next week.

Play of the day: Prescott showed good touch on two completions to wide receiver Malik Turner, including an over-the-shoulder throw against cornerback Jourdan Lewis for about 40 yards down the left sideline. Backup quarterback Garrett Gilbert also had a nice deep throw to Noah Brown over defensive backs Deante Burton and Damontae Kazee.

First takeaway of camp goes to linebacker/safety Keanu Neal, who punched the ball out following a completion to wide receiver Michael Gallup.

Amari Cooper, DeMarcus Lawrence, key rookie among 6 Cowboys to start camp on PUP list - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire

No reason to panic, but definitely something to monitor as the Cowboys training camp begins.

For the most part, it was an uneventful offseason for the Dallas Cowboys. Surely, they signed quarterback Dak Prescott to the league’s second-biggest contract ever and largest amounts on the front-end of a deal. Yes, they decided they were going to have Hard Knocks document their training camp experience for the world to see. But there’s been very little in the waves department and that’s a good thing.

Now that camp has officially opened for them and the Pittsburgh Steelers, participants in the Hall of Fame Game to kick off the exhibition season, there are actual football things to discuss. As Dallas opens their first practice for the 2021 season, the news will now center around performance, and who isn’t able to perform. On that front, the team will start camp without six of their 90-man roster, unable to participate as they have been placed on the PUP list. WR Amari Cooper, DE DeMarcus Lawrence and rookie DE Chauncey Golston are the most prominent names.

Defensive tackle Trysten Hill is also noteworthy, as he was knocked out of the season last year with an ACL injury. ESPN’s Todd Archer adding that he will need the most rehab time is troubling for him because Dallas’ defensive interior has been a sore spot. A surprise second-round pick in 2019, Hill came in with question marks and hasn’t been able to make a name for himself in the pros. Now on his third defensive coordinator in three years in Dan Quinn, him being available to learn the nuances of the defenses seems imperative.

Dallas Cowboys: Did Trysten Hill’s injury seal his fate? - Steven Mullenax, The Landry Hat

This looked to be a pivotal year for Hill and his career, does this injury all but end his run in Dallas?

When the Dallas Cowboys kickoff training camp practices on Thursday, they’ll do so with some prominent players sidelined. The Cowboys have now released a list of six players whom they’ve placed on the Physically Unable to Perform or PUP list to start training camp.

Those names include defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, defensive tackle Trysten Hill, wide receiver Amari Cooper, offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt, kicker Greg Zuerlein, and defensive end Chauncey Golston. Rookie wide receiver T.J. Vasher was placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury (NFI) list.

According to Rob Phillips of DallasCowboys.com, Lawrence is still working back from a clean-up back procedure in the offseason. And head coach Mike McCarthy believes none of the players on the above list are dealing with anything long-term.

But of all the names on the PUP list, McCarthy also indicated that Hill is the furthest from being physically ready. In fact, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, the former second-rounder’s status on the team might be in jeopardy as he believes it’s highly unlikely he’ll even suit up in seven weeks against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when the Cowboys kickoff their regular season in Week One.

Cowboys greats Roger Staubach, Drew Pearson confident in Dak Prescott, offense ahead of 2021 season - Arianna Vedia, DMN

A couple of Cowboys greats weigh in on the current Cowboys.

Cowboys greats Roger Staubach and Drew Pearson have expressed their confidence in quarterback Dak Prescott as Dallas gears up for the 2021 season.

Prescott is nine months removed from a gruesome ankle injury that sidelined him through the end of the 2020 season.

“Back in the day, if something like that happened, you’re done. It’s over. There’s no thinking about coming back,” Pearson said Wednesday at an event to announce the new Hail Mary NFT. “Now with technology in the medical field, you come back bigger and stronger and faster than you ever were before.”

Now that Prescott is healthy, combined with a strong receiving corps and running back Ezekiel Elliott, Staubach said the offense is going to be “really good.”

“I just worry about the defense a little bit,” Staubach said.

Pearson echoed Staubach’s concerns about the Cowboys defense, which allowed the most points and second-most yards in franchise history in 2020, but he said he believes the team made its needed adjustments, especially with draft picks such as first-rounder Micah Parsons, a linebacker from Penn State.

“We were giving up too much yards,” Pearson said. “I could score against our defense.”

Recap of Cowboys training camp practice #1 in Oxnard (tweets + videos) - Tom Ryle, Blogging The Boys

Get caught up on all things Cowboys after their first practice of 2021.

It has begun. The Dallas Cowboys conducted their first 2021 training camp practice in Oxnard today. There was a flood of tweets from the media as practice went on, and here is a rundown.

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