Former Cowboys RB Coach Shares Stark Reality Check for Ezekiel Elliott
New Buccaneers running back coach Skip Peete is preparing for his first season with the team after spending three seasons in the same position with the Cowboys. He, like many coaches and players, is trying to acclimate to the new coaching staff, players and city he joined during the offseason. His former Dallas tailback Ezekiel Elliott, on the other hand, remains unsigned.
Elliott was released by the Cowboys in March after another year where his carries decreased, in large part because of Tony Pollard’s emergence in the backfield. Peete thinks Elliott’s hesitance to accept a lesser role is the reason why he remains unsigned.
“I think that’s part of the reason he’s sitting out there,” Peete said, per the Tampa Bay Times. “If you’re going to play, I mean, you’re going to be the second and third guy. That’s kind of what the price is. So. that’s something that a person has to be able to see that that is what it is going to be.”
Elliott’s All-Pro days are likely behind him, but he’s still no slouch in the backfield. This past season alone, he rushed for 876 yards and 12 touchdowns in his 15 games played at 27 years old, and Peete still has plenty of respect for his ability on the field.
“I think Zeke is still a good, quality running back,” he continued. “He’s playing 50% of the snaps, so your numbers are not the same, that’s natural. But he still scored 12 touchdowns. He still caught the ball well. He still had numerous third-and-1, and short and goal-line places where he helped us win games. He’s still a physical load.”