Ezekiel Elliott says he felt a 'little rusty' in Cowboys' blowout win over Giants

The holdout ended, the season began, and things are looking up for the Dallas Cowboys.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott returned to the team after signing a six-year, $90 million deal last week following an extended vacation in Cabo. Elliott's maximum deal will mushroom to eight years worth $103 million when included with his previous contract, making him the highest-paid running back in NFL history.

Elliott took the field with his teammates on Sunday to kick off the 2019 campaign against the New York Giants, and he played fairly well. The Cowboys' most consistent offensive weapon rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, and also caught a pass for 10 yards in the 35-17 victory. While those numbers aren't going to grab headlines anywhere, it was great to get him back on the field and taking hits again.

You can watch the replay, including in condensed and all-22 formats, with NFL Game Pass. 

After the game, he told reporters that he felt a bit rusty, but that's to be expected. 

"I felt about the same. Obviously, I was a little rusty," Elliott said, via NBC Sports. "I didn't play the best game. I have a lot I can improve on. But that's going to take time, and it's about getting more reps and being out there longer."

Elliott led the NFL in rushing yards his rookie season and then again in 2018, when he gained 1,434 yards on the ground. Since being selected No. 4 overall in 2016, Elliott has achieved two All-Pro and Pro Bowl nods en route to becoming arguably the best running back in football. 

Sunday's game wasn't the prettiest win, but it was a win nonetheless. Now well-paid and officially back in the swing of things, we should expect more incredible plays from No. 21 moving forward.  

"I thought Zeke did a good job," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. "Obviously, he missed a lot of time in training camp and practiced just three days this past week, so we wanted to be mindful of how many reps we gave him in the game. I thought we did a pretty good job of that. He ended up being in a couple of longer drives in the first half, so I think he got up over 35 snaps in the game. But it seemed like he handled it well. It looked like he ran the way Zeke runs. I know over time when he practices a little bit more and gets a little more game experience, he'll get more comfortable. But he's a really good football player, and it's good to have him back."

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