FRISCO, Texas – Before the pandemic, there were a few things that were rather consistent when it came to Ezekiel Elliott.
Every Wednesday, when the media was allowed into the locker room, there was Zeke, standing by his locker, ready to speak to reporters for his weekly press session.
And after the games, while other players prefer to shower and get dressed before speaking to the media, there was Zeke, usually still in uniform, ready to talk and give his assessment about the previous game – win or lose.
That's what we're used to seeing out of Zeke. So far in 2021, that hasn't been the case as Elliott has not talked to reporters during the OTAs or the minicamps.
But what might be described as a quiet offseason for Zeke with the media, he's definitely been putting in the work. And his teammates and coaches have certainly noticed.
"Zeke looks great," Dak Prescott said of Elliott, who came into the league with him in 2016. "He's in the best shape of his life -- looking fast. Everybody's seen the clips of him working out independently with his running back coach. His cuts, just how explosive he is."
Dak even went so far to call Elliott the best in the NFL, when he's at 100 percent health.
"I'm excited to have a full year with him again and getting him healthy throughout the whole season," Dak said. "When Zeke's healthy and Zeke's doing his thing, he's the best running back in the league. It's just exciting to see him in the best shape of his life, or [at least the] best shape he's been in the NFL. That's going to be special for us moving forward."
Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has been impressed as well.
"I think he looks really, really good," said Moore. "Just fast, crisp. In and out of things. He looks really good and we're excited."
Last year, Zeke had career-low numbers in rushing yards with 979 and total touchdowns with eight. And it got to the point that many of his critics have begun to wonder if running back mate Tony Pollard, a smaller, but quicker back, should get more carries.
Pollard is expected to have a more unique role this year that includes him playing some slot receiver. But when asked about Zeke, even Pollard sounds excited about playing alongside what appears to be a more focused teammate.
"He's definitely been locked in," Pollard said. "I can tell he took the right step forward this offseason, getting his body right and being in shape. Me and him worked out together this offseason. We're both locked in this offseason getting ready."
Locked in. Fast. Crisp. Ready.
Zeke might not be saying anything at all. But his teammates seem to like what they see.