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Cowboys downplay Ezekiel Elliott's lacking touches in Week 1: 'We’re going to need Zeke to pound it'

  • NFL Cowboys American Football Ezekiel Elliott wasn't as involved as usual in the Cowboys' Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers. Elliott had 11 carries — the second-lowest total of his career — in Dallas' 31-29 defeat. That was a departure from the 16.3 carries per game he averaged in Mike McCarthy's first season with the Cowboys.Is there any reason for concern with Elliott's lacking touches in the season opener? Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore doesn't think so. He explained that the Cowboys simply passed the ball more because the Bucs have one of the NFL's best run defenses. “That was a unique game,” Moore said to reporters Monday, per USA Today Sports. “If we need to throw it 60 times, if we need to run it 60 times, I really don’t care. That was the No. 1 rushing defense in the NFL. We could bang our head against the wall if we want.“But at the end of the day, I thought they did a good job stopping the run.” MORE: Why Mike McCarthy limited Ezekiel Elliott's carries, went pass-heavy vs. BuccaneersThe Buccaneers have been the NFL's top run defense in back-to-back years, so limiting Elliott's carries was sensible. In fact, the team as a whole ran just 18 total run plays of their 77 plays. That was good for a run percentage of 23.3,[......]

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