The Dallas Cowboys are just over a month away from the 2022 season. Before they get there, they have two joint practices and three scheduled preseason games with the Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, and Denver Broncos to get through. These games are always a great opportunity for fans to see how members of the roster are looking heading into the season.
One person fans won’t get to see is running back Ezekiel Elliott.
On Wednesday, the seven-year veteran told reporters that he does not plan to participate in preseason games or joint practices.
“I’ve seen a lot of football. I don’t think I need a preseason game, especially with joint practices,” the RB1 said.
It isn’t uncommon for starters to sit out a bulk of the preseason activity. However, for a player to completely count themselves out of playing at all is a bit odd. It’s understandable that Elliott doesn’t want to run the risk of hurting himself before September 11, but it would certainly be nice for the Cowboys to see how he looks after reportedly being fully healthy and recovered from the partial PCL tear he sustained early in the 2021 season.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott says he will not participate in any preseason games or joint practices
Cowboys fans watched as Elliott looked like a shadow of himself at times last season while he silently suffered with a torn PCL. His speed and burst looked far different than years past, which led him to average a career-low of 4.2 yards per carry and 58.9 rushing yards per game.
The health and play of many Cowboys will be on display in the preseason as the wide receiver room looks to fill its WR2 and WR3 roles while they wait for James Washington and Michael Gallup to return from injury.
You’d think the opportunity for Elliott to get some meaningful reps in before the season would be helpful ahead of an out in his contract that comes up in 2023. Instead, it seems like he’s confident enough and solely focused on his future. In the same interview where he told the press he wouldn’t be participating in preseason games, he also told reporters about his long-term goals.
“Obviously that’s a goal, winning a Super Bowl, getting a gold jacket. There’s not many guys with gold jackets that didn’t rush for 10,000 yards.”
Right now, the RB1 has 7,386 rushing yards. The hope is that he can avoid another year of injury setbacks and once again become a valuable piece of the offense. We won’t get to see if that’s the case until Week 1 of the 2022 season.