Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is determined to bounce back from a disappointing 2020 season and put up big numbers in 2021. Elliott, who was selected at No. 4 in the 2016 NFL draft, had the worst seasons of his career statistically in 2020.
Last season, Elliott rushed for just 979 yards in 15 games. "Just having the year I had last year, you don't need more motivation than that," Elliott said after the Cowboys' first training camp practice, as quoted on ESPN.
"I just know the type of player I am. I don't think I showed that last year. I got a lot to prove. I just made sure I didn't leave any doubt out there that I didn't do as much as I needed to do." This offseason -- for the first time in his career -- Elliott trained with a personal running backs coach Josh Hicks.
Elliott's goal was to improve his short-area quickness. "I think it's definitely something I needed to work on," Elliott said. "It's definitely something I needed to improve, so I went and got in the lab and got better."
Elliott got leaner Elliott underwent a body transformation this summer this offseason as he now looks extremely lean and fit. "I've heard as you get older in this league you want to start losing weight and nutrition has played a big part of that," Elliott said.
"Shoutout to my chef, Chef Hoppie, for getting me right and getting me lean and ready for the season. I feel good where I am." Elliott insists his goal is not to prove the doubters wrong. Instead, he wants to prove to himself and his teammates.
"Prove it to myself. I do it for my teammates. I think the hardest part about last year is you feel like you let your teammates down. That hurts," said Elliott, who also fumbled six times in 2020. "I want to make sure I put my best step forward and do everything I need to do to help this team win."
On Thursday, Elliott turned 26. "It goes by fast. You hear it all the time (but) until you get to year six you don't realize it," Elliott said. "It goes in a flash of an eye. I have had a great time. Doing it with great people. I look forward to being here a lotta more years."