Mike McCarthy concerned about Ezekiel Elliott’s knee, Cowboys to ‘evaluate’ his running style

FRISCO — Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy is concerned about the health of starting running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott is playing with a bone bruise on his knee that’s slowed not only him, but the run game overall.

“I am concerned. He’s a warrior,” McCarthy said in a conference call with reporters on Friday. “He was fighting to get back in there every time, all day [in the loss to the Las Vegas Raiders].”

In Week 5, after rushing for 110 yards on 21 carries in a victory over the New York Giants, Elliott averaged just 44.7 yards per game on 12.5 carries the next six games.

During the Cowboys’ two-game losing streak, Elliott hasn’t carried the ball more than nine times in each game.

“Zeke’s running style is ferocious,” McCarthy said. “He gives a pounding and he takes some hits. We need to evaluate that and this week we’ll see what the preparation looks like for him.”

The Cowboys can limit Elliott’s practice reps for the rest of the season and give backup running back Tony Pollard more touches in the run game.

Pollard’s work in the run game isn’t working either. Over the last three games, Pollard averaged just 42.7 yards on 9.3 carries.

Briefly: Special teams coordinator John Fassel said kicker Greg Zuerlein just “pulled” the kick on his missed PAT but the 59-yard miss was something else. “He was kind of dumbfounded because he said ‘Coach it was one of my best hits of my career.’‘’ Fassel said. The miss hit the left upright. … TE Blake Jarwin was placed on the COVID-19 list. … McCarthy said he was going to speak with cornerback Kelvin Joseph about getting ejected and get some clarity on what game officials saw during the incident. … Jerry Jones had thought the Thanksgiving Day game between the Cowboys and Raiders would draw well. CBS announced the game drew an estimated 38.5 million viewers. It was the most-watched regular-season game since 1990.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) hits his head on the turf as Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward (35) intercepted a second quarter pass intended for him in the end zone at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, November 21, 2021.
Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Trysten Hill warms before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Arlington.

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