Ezekiel Elliott says Cowboys are 'angry' at lack of execution, getting 'chippy' in practice

Things are getting hairy within the Dallas Cowboys locker room, but in what they hope will turn out to be productive fashion. The frustration began far ahead of the loss to the New England Patriots in Week 12, but suffering a beatdown at the hands of the visiting Buffalo Bills only four days later sent emotions into overdrive.

Following the game, veteran pass rusher Michael Bennett tore into his teammates with a speech noting the "enemies of greatness," and his voice rattled the walls as media outside stood stunned at the sounds coming from behind the closed locker room doors. It's a nod to the leadership Bennett brought with him when the Cowboys landed him via trade at the end of October, and he wasn't the only one getting his point(s) across that evening, as the team has finally come to the realization they're season is in very real jeopardy of falling apart at the seams.

They'll now face the seemingly resurgent Chicago Bears -- winners of three of their last four games -- knowing there are only four games left in the regular season to right the ship and keep it floating toward January. 

Currently sitting at 6-6, they remain in sole possession of the top spot in the NFC East thanks to the second-place Philadelphia Eagles having lost to the Miami Dolphins to stretch their current losing streak to three games, but even though the two are on a collision course for Week 15, the Cowboys can't afford to look beyond the moment. There is much to repair right now, and suddenly included on that list is an offense that is tops in the NFL in yards per game (432.8), but only eighth in the league in points scored per game (25.8), averaging only 12 points per contest in their last two outings. 

Knowing their potential and where they should be entering Week 14 versus where they actually are, it's fair to say the Cowboys are no longer simply frustrated. 

They're downright furious.

"Yeah, angry," said All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott after Sunday's practice, via Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Angry we're not where we expected ourselves to be. Just angry that things haven't been going the way we want them to go. We've got to channel that the right way."

Elliott went on to note how practice has taken on a different tone this week, and one indicative of a team on the verge of wasting a season that could've seen them become a Super Bowl contender.

"Guys were on their stuff," he said. "Guys had a little stuff in their neck. It was a little chippy. Ready to go. ...That's what you expect."

Echoing sentiments from quarterback Dak Prescott this week, while Elliott readily admits the Cowboys need to get back to winning games, he sees no setback in the team's belief in their ability to do so.

"No confidence lost," he said. "We know -- in this locker room -- what we need to do. We need to go out there and play better football. We need to go out there and execute better. 

"It's been the same story all year. We've just got to figure it out."

There are lots of reasons the Cowboys have faltered time and again, and bullseyes can be passed around like wafers at a communion at this point, but in the end -- it all comes down to one thing in Dallas, in Elliott's opinion.

"We just haven't played good football," the two-time NFL rushing champ said. "I mean, that's all it comes down to. Everyone wants to try to find out what's wrong. I'll tell you what's wrong: we just haven't played good football. 

"We haven't gone out there and executed as a team. Until we do that, it's going to be tough to win ballgames."

On a macro level, Elliott is as correct as Bennett was when the latter chided his teammates for getting in their own way. 

With head coach Jason Garrett remaining on staff for the remainder of the season -- All-Pro DeMarcus Lawrence labeling as "stupid" any insinuation the six losses are due to coaching, and not the players -- what happens on the field in Chicago will go a long way in determining if the frustration that's now turned to anger will mushroom like a nuclear cloud into fury; or if they'll climb to 7-6 and one step closer to ensuring themselves a seat at the playoff table this winter.

After all, anger can be a great fuel to drive success, but only if you know how to remove the gas cap.

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