Cowboys' Elliott to Share Carries in Running Back Committee for 2024 Season

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy announces Ezekiel Elliott will be part of a running back committee for the 2024 season. The decision marks a departure from the team's traditional reliance on a single dominant back, aiming to keep players fresh over the 17-game season.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Cowboys' Elliott to Share Carries in Running Back Committee for 2024 Season

Cowboys' Elliott to Share Carries in Running Back Committee for 2024 Season

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has reveals, role announced that veteran running back Ezekiel Elliott will be part of a running back committee for the 2024 season. McCarthy cited the need to keep players fresh over the 17-game season as the primary reason for the new approach.

Elliott, who recently returned to the Cowboys on a one-year deal after spending the 2023 season with the New England Patriots, is expected to share carries with a group of running backs that includes Royce Freeman, Rico Dowdle, Malik Davis, Deuce Vaughn, Snoop Conner, fullback Hunter Luepke, and undrafted rookie free agent Nathaniel Peat.

McCarthy emphasized that Elliott's role will be different from his first few seasons in the league, stating, "I don't think that's fair. What do you mean? The guy carried the ball more than anybody in the history of football in the first couple of years. That's not going to be his role, we're a running back by committee." Despite the reduced workload, McCarthy believes Elliott will still perform at a high level, similar to his production from 2020 to 2022.

The Cowboys' decision to implement a running back by committee approach marks a departure from their traditional reliance on a single, dominant back. Elliott, a two-time rushing champion, averaged 292 carries and 1,350 rushing yards per season during his first four years in the league. However, his production declined in recent seasons, with the running back averaging 237 carries and 952 rushing yards per season from 2020 to 2022.

Despite the shift in strategy, both Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Elliott himself have expressed confidence in the running back's ability to remain a key contributor to the team's success. Elliott, who signed a six-year, $90 million contract extension in 2019, stated, "I got to go out there and prove that... I think we all know how I feel about competing and leaving it all out there for my team."

The Cowboys' move to a committee approach aligns with a growing trend in the NFL, as teams look to keep their running backs fresh and reduce the risk of injury over the course of a grueling season. While Elliott may no longer be the focal point of the Cowboys' rushing attack, his experience and leadership will undoubtedly play a crucial role in the team's pursuit of a championship in 2024.

Key Takeaways

  • Cowboys' RB Ezekiel Elliott will be part of a running back committee in 2024.
  • Elliott will share carries with 7 other RBs, including Royce Freeman and Rico Dowdle.
  • Coach Mike McCarthy cites keeping players fresh over 17 games as the reason.
  • Elliott's role will be different from his early years, with reduced carries.
  • The committee approach aligns with an NFL trend to reduce injury risk.