NFL players are usually known for being vain and narcissistic. Sometimes, though, you get a refreshing change of pace when a player shows some humility. You would think Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott — who just signed a $90 million extension before the season started, making him the NFL’s highest-paid running back — would be in the former group, but he has made comments that show that he is humble despite the success he has had in the league. And his humility has drawn cheers from football fans.
Ezekiel Elliott’s summer holdout
This summer, people around the NFL were wondering whether Ezekiel Elliott would even play for the Cowboys this season. He didn’t attend training camp, as he was holding out for a new contract.
While some holdouts extend into the regular season, like Chargers RB Melvin Gordon, or in the case of then-Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell last an entire season, Elliott ended his dispute with the team without missing any regular-season action.
He signed his new deal days before the season started and was ready to go in Week 1. Missing training camp, though, may have hurt him in terms of his conditioning and his preparation for the season, as evidenced by him running for just 53 yards in the Cowboys’ season opener against the Giants.
One of the best running backs in 2019
Entering Week 10, Ezekiel Elliott is sixth in the league with 741 rushing yards, and his six rushing touchdowns put him into a tie for fifth place in the category. He has more rushing yards than Colts RB Marlon Mack and Titans RB Derrick Henry — who rank ninth and 10th, respectively, but have more rushing attempts than Elliott.
He has a chance to move up the list in the coming weeks because the Cowboys have already had their bye, but some of the players ahead of him in rushing yards have not yet had their bye, including Seahawks RB Chris Carson, who is only 23 yards ahead of Elliott despite carrying the ball 17 more times.
Although he’s near the top of the league in rushing, Elliott isn’t having his best season, as he is on pace to fall short of his career-high rushing yardage and touchdown totals he achieved in his rookie season.
Ezekiel Elliott: There are backs who have played better
According to the Dallas Morning News, when Elliott was asked if he’s the best back in the league, his response was that he “wouldn’t say so.” He continued, saying that he thinks “there’s been running backs that have played better” this season.
He added that it doesn’t bother him, and in fact “it kind of adds a little fuel to the fire” and makes him realize he has “some more work to do.” Elliott wouldn’t name any names in terms of backs he feels are playing better than him, but he did compliment Vikings RB Dalvin Cook, the leading rusher through Week 9, by calling him “a special guy.”
Fans like the humility
In the comments section of the Yahoo article about Elliott’s humbling comments, readers are complimenting Elliott for his humility. Some of the comments people have left on the article include:
- “The humility he is exhibiting is refreshing – and if he stays healthy – it would not be surprising that he leads the league by the end of the regular season”
- “wow humility?”
- “OLD Cowboy here, I love this attitude.”
In an industry where so many athletes go around self-promoting themselves once they reach high levels of fame and get their big-money contract, people like to see someone like Elliott show a more human side of himself.