Zeke, Team Looks To 'Pick Up Where We Left Off'


FRISCO, Texas – Like the rest of his teammates, Ezekiel Elliott enjoyed a weekend to relax and rest up over the bye.

Now it's time for the nine-game home stretch – and a chance for the Cowboys (4-3) to build on their most complete win of the season two weeks ago against the Eagles.

Next up: a Monday Night road matchup against the Giants (2-6), who have shown improvement since the Cowboys' Week 1 win against them.

"We've got to pick up where we left off," Elliott said. "We can't out come out flat Monday night. We definitely can't do that. Division game, primetime, those guys will be juiced up ready to go.

"We've just got to come out and pick up where we left off before the bye week and start fast and play our football."

The 37-10 win over Philadelphia pushed the Cowboys' division record to 3-0 with a one-game lead on the Eagles. For the first time this season, the offense scored a touchdown on their opening drive.

Slow starts plagued Dallas during its three-game losing streak, but the defense forced a season-high four turnovers against Philly that led directly to three touchdowns. The early big lead (24-7) allowed the offense to keep Elliott and the run game involved throughout.

Through seven games, Elliott ranks seventh in the league with 602 rushing yards after missing training camp and preseason over contract negotiations.

Elliott says his start to the season has been "solid," and the Eagles game was the best he'd felt (22 carries for 111 yards, touchdown).

"Definitely can pick it up some more," he said, "and definitely looking to get in a groove early in this stretch so I can keep it going through the end of the season."

The bye week helped the team get healthier after several key starters were originally listed as questionable for the Eagles game. Only backup swing tackle Cam Fleming (calf) did not practice Thursday.

"A number of those guys did a great job working their way back into it, getting themselves healthy over the course of the week so they can play in that game," head coach Jason Garrett said. "Having that time off with the bye certainly helped everybody."

And last week's trade for defensive tackle Michael Bennett should help boost a pass rush that has been missing veteran leader Tyrone Crawford (injured reserve; hip).

"I'm glad we've got him on our side now," said guard Zack Martin, who has faced Bennett several times in the past when the Cowboys played the Seahawks and Eagles.

Monday's opponent, New York, has lost four straight. But their last two games were decided by less than a touchdown. And rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has shown promise starting in place of Eli Manning since the teams' season-opening clash.

The Cowboys started the season 3-0, then fell to 3-3. The victory before the bye gave them momentum back.

Their goal is to keep it going.

"It was kind of ups and downs, but I think we have a resilient team," Martin said. "If we can put ourselves in position – we know November and December are, I think, where the real teams step up and show what we're all about. So I think we're ready for that push."