FRISCO, Texas – Ezekiel Elliott is a 1,000-yard rusher for the third time in four NFL seasons, but he's not focused on individual milestones with the Cowboys (6-7) fighting to end a three-game losing streak and clinch the NFC East in December.
"Win ball games, man. Trying to win a Super Bowl," Elliott said Wednesday when asked about his personal yardage goals. "Really don't care about that number. Who cares if you rush for 2,000 and don't even make the playoffs?"
Elliott, a two-time NFL rushing champ, has fallen just short of 1,000 yards once in four years (2017) because of a six-game league suspension that year. Through 13 games this year he ranks fifth in the league with 1,017 yards.
"1,000 yards to me is the expectation," Elliott said. "I have a lot of high expectations for myself. I mean, it does mean a lot to get 1,000 yards. This is the NFL. It's not easy to become a 1,000-yard rusher. But as my expectations for myself, I expect myself to rush for 1,000 yards every season."
Elliott has 246 carries this season, putting him on pace for 302 over 16 games. That would be the second-lowest total of his young career. In 2017, he had 242 carries in only 10 starts because of the suspension that year.
Due in part to a slightly lighter workload, Elliott says he feels better physically in December than he has in past years. He hasn't gotten as many touches in some games for various reasons – rookie Tony Pollard has spelled him at times with a lead, and in the last two losses the offense was in catch-up mode in the second half – but the star rusher is prepared for this final stretch of the season.
"Whatever is in the game plan, whatever the team needs me to do to win, I'm going to go out there and do," Elliott said. "They know I'm always ready to get as many touches as they need me to get."