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Since being pulled for Alfred Morris at the tail end of that Week 2 game against Washington, Elliott has run the NFL – literally. He’s racked up 569 yards over the course of four weeks for a healthy average of 143 yards per game. He leads the league with 703 rushing yards, despite the fact that he didn’t play on Sunday.
When he’s not leading the NFL in rushing, Ezekiel Elliott is critiquing Dak Prescott’s shoe selection. After Prescott received a new shipment of sneakers, Elliott took to Twitter to share his thoughts and it’s continued from there.
On the opening drive against the Washington Redskins, he didn’t look like a tired rookie running back facing two games in four days. And by the end of the fourth quarter, with a second touchdown to tie Emmitt Smith for the third-most in a season by a Cowboys rookie, the first Thanksgiving stretch of his career still didn’t look too taxing.
In fact, he gained a grand total of 11 yards on his next nine attempts against an improving Redskins run defense that forced two fumbles against him in Week 2.
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But he and the offensive line continued chipping away, as they’ve done all season. On his first carry of the fourth quarter, he captured the right edge and cut up the sideline for a 21-yard gain, his longest of the game. The run sparked a 75-yard touchdown drive that extended the Cowboys’ lead to 24-12 – a quick and definitive answer to the Redskins’ first touchdown of the game just minutes earlier.
It wasn’t the gaudiest stat line of the rookie’s impressive season, but it sure was efficient. Elliott got the rock 18 times on the afternoon, tallying 92 yards and two touchdowns. More impressive than the yardage was the way he seemed to punish Browns defenders on every run.
His 10-yard score in the second quarter saw him dive through a Cleveland tackler and extend over the goal line. On his eight-yard run in the third quarter, he broke outside and stiff armed his way past Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun en route to the end zone.
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Sean Lee is not the first player to be snubbed for the Pro Bowl nor will he be the last. Fans and players have the vote so there are always going to be issues. My way to fix it – let the general managers and scouts vote on the teams. They’re the ones watching the tape of all these teams and not just some selected games. I promise you that Will McClay and his staff could come up with better teams instead of the one we got on Tuesday.
“He’s probably playing his best ball right now,” cheap Cowboys jerseys head coach Jason Garrett said of Lee. “His production is off the charts. One of the things that we commented on as coaches is it’s a lot of different kinds of production. It’s direct runs at him, he’s productive. It’s sacking the quarter, he’s productive. It’s recovering a fumble, he’s productive. It’s coverage, it’s runs to the inside, it’s runs to the outside, it’s tackle after the catch, he’s just everywhere. And he’s doing a lot of different things for us on top of the communication and the leadership that he has. He’s an outstanding football player.”
For the first time in his career, Lee is returning home to Pittsburgh this weekend to play the team he worshipped growing up. As a kid, he waved a Terrible Towel. He hung a poster of the great “Steel Curtain” defense. He wore a Jerome Bettis jersey. He dreamed of sacking quarterbacks in the black-and-gold jersey like Greg Lloyd and Kevin Greene did in the ‘90s.
Lee’s teammates and coaches have praised his production and leadership since the Pro Bowl roster was announced Tuesday.
“My opinion and the opinion of our defensive staff and our football team is Sean Lee is playing as well as anybody on our team. He’s playing as well as anybody in the National Football League right now,” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. “Really all you have to do is put the tape on. Just watch him make 12, 15, 18, 22 tackles a week in the National Football League. It’s hard to do. He’s a leader for us.”
Can’t say enough about Sean Lee and his preparation for a game. He studied all week how the Giants had success pulling their offensive linemen in the first meeting in order to help their running game. Lee had an idea that Ben McAdoo was likely to try and run the ball in the game the same way, but he was not going to allow that to happen. Each time the Giants tried to pull, Lee was right there reading his keys and finishing the play.