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The Story Behind Zeke's Big Gesture


FRISCO, Texas – Ezekiel Elliott swapped his jersey out following last week's win against Jacksonville – but it wasn't with who you'd expect.

It's become commonplace for NFL players to jersey swap in the moments after games as a gesture of camaraderie. Elliott took it to another level in Week 7, though, as he made the swap with a longtime fan in Jake Silver.

"It was very heart-warming to finally meet him and just to see the spirits he was in," Elliott said Wednesday. "It was inspiring, honestly, to meet him and be able to spend some time with him."

Silver's name is not new for anyone that has been following Elliott's three-year NFL career. Back in 2016, Elliott began wearing a bright orange wristband to commemorate Silver's fight against cancer – which he still wears to this day. This past week, Elliott upped the ante by inviting the Silver Family to Sunday's 40-7 win against Jacksonville.

"I've had communication with him and his family over the past two years," Elliott said. "I know it's been rough for him, but I just want to do anything I can to help and make things easier for him and help him out."

Silver's battle with cancer, as well as his relationship with Elliott, were documented during the Cowboys' run to a 13-3 record in 2016. In a world with a 24-hour news cycle, though, it was remarkable to see Elliott maintain that relationship over the course of two long years.

Asked about that, Elliott said it's one of the reasons he does what he does.

"Sometimes it may seem like you're not really doing much, just stopping to talk to someone, shaking someone's hand or taking a picture, but that stuff really means a lot to fans," he said. Whenever you get a chance to be someone's shining light, you take the opportunity."