Jerry Jones defends Ezekiel Elliott: Other Cowboys were loafing on interception, too

It's hard to justify Ezekiel Elliott expending exactly zero calories to move in the general vicinity of Broncos cornerback Chris Harris following a Dak Prescott interception, but Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones is going to try.

"I think if you look at everybody's reaction to that interception ... certainly on that interception, if you really look at several Dallas Cowboys players on that interception you saw what would not be the case in a closely contested ball game," Jones said during his weekly appearance CBS Radio's 105.3 the Fan in Dallas. "I think you can point to Zeke but you really have to look at the general effort to chase that ball down by most of the people that were on the field. Dak now, of course, gave it everything he had to try to contain that interception, but still you look at it across the board and you'll see that you need more effort than what you see."

Jones isn't condoning the "it's OK to throttle down if you're getting blown out" approach to professional football but also wants to make it clear that Elliott wasn't the only Cowboys player loafing on the interception return.

Meanwhile, coach Jason Garrett did call out the second-year running back for his lackadaisical effort on a couple of plays from Sunday's lopsided defeat.

"Well, he had the two plays that were not good plays," Garrett said on Monday. "The two interceptions, obviously. One of the things we preach to our team on both sides of the ball when there is a turnover, everybody is involved. If you're an offensive player, become a defensive player on a fumble or an interception. Zeke is one of the most natural competitors I've ever been around. He loves to play. He loves to practice. I think we've seen that through his first year playing. Those two plays were not indicative of the kind of competitor that he was and we have to get that addressed."

Hall of Famer and former Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson went so far as to accuse Elliott of quitting during a game in which he managed just eight yards on nine carries.

"I didn't like the way he quit today. I didn't like that. He absolutely quit on his team today. And there's gonna be times when you're not going to have room to run," Tomlinson said on NFL Network. "On a couple of plays, first his attitude on the sideline ... clearly, he didn't have any communication with his team. He didn't want to talk to his teammates. Sometimes when things are going wrong, as a leader of that team, as a captain, you've got to rally the troops."

It's been a tough stretch for Elliott, who could still face a six-game suspension this season if the league has its way. In the meantime, no one's going to feel sorry for the Cowboys who will play in Arizona next Monday night.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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