ARLINGTON, Texas -- In his first public comment since June, Cowboys running back Zeke Elliott says he’s had his “faith tested” in the past year, but moments after the Cowboys season opening win over the Giants, he was able to speak positively about victories on and off the field.
“It just feels good to be out here with these boys,” said Elliott, surrounded by about 30 media members in the Cowboys locker room. “It’s definitely been a tough last 14 months and at times it’s gotten so hard, you know you start to lose faith, but you know just being able to come in and be with these boys every day has kept me focused, you know made me not give up and keep going.”
Elliott, 22, received a favorable ruling Friday from Judge Amos Mazzant, who granted a preliminary injunction that could have Elliott play for the rest of the season. But Elliott understands there are more rulings that must be made before the rest of the season is a lock.
“Just relieved for the fact that you know I’ll finally get a fair trial. I’ll finally get a chance to prove my innocence,” Elliott said of the ruling. “Just happy that that I’m able to be with these guys for as long as it’s permitted and you know just not having to miss time and not being away from them.”
His teammates are happy about that too. Elliott seemed unfazed by the distractions swirling around him. He authored a bruising and workmanlike performance against the Giants that saw him rack up 104 yards on 24 carries.
“Just got to block it out,” said Elliott of his method for handling the distractions. “You gotta focus on being the guy I need to be for this team. Just being the high-energy guy.
"I think I do bring a lot of energy to this team. I think I am good for this locker room and just continue to remain myself and not let it weigh on me and wear me down; just kinda put it aside and be me.”
Elliott was suspended for six games by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell Aug. 11, part of the league’s more than year-long investigation into domestic violence claims by his ex-girlfriend.
“Your name getting dragged through the mud, it’s been, like I said it’s been 14 months, you know just kinda being associated with that, that’s tough,” said Elliott.
Last Tuesday we found out that NFL arbitrator Harold Henderson ruled to uphold the suspension, triggering the legal battle that figures to drag on into the offseason.
“It is what it is. I’ve kinda just stopped worrying about it because it really isn’t in my hands at this point,” said Elliott. “You know I’m just really focused right now on being the running back I need to be so this team can be successful so we can accomplish what we want to, and just remained focused and just keep playing at a high level.”