I haven't worn down yet - Ezekiel Elliott responds to talk of reduced workload
Ezekiel Elliott is not concerned about a reduced workload or his contract status, even though the Dallas Cowboys have indicated there is no set timetable over a new deal.
The running back helped the Cowboys win the NFC East last season, as well as beating the Seattle Seahawks in the opening round of the playoffs.
He rushed for 1,434 yards on 304 carries and caught a career-high 77 passes in 2018, touching the ball on more than 35 percent of the Cowboys' offensive snaps despite being rested for the final week of the regular season.
However, Dallas are keen to make sure Elliott does not have to carry too much of the offensive burden again.
"It's just physics," running backs coach Gary Brown said last week at rookie minicamp. "Year after year with that type of workload, eventually anyone's going to slow down. We're trying to pre-empt that and take care of him now."
When asked about the team's plan, Elliott replied to the Dallas Morning News: "I haven't worn down yet."
The Cowboys picked up the fifth-year option of the 23-year-old's rookie contract last month, though executive vice president Stephen Jones said last week that Elliott is "a guy we want to have here long term".
"The only reason you say, well maybe he's not at the front [of the extension order] is because he's got this year, then he's got another year on his tender. But Zeke's every bit as important," Jones added.
Elliott, though, is only focused on what happens on the field, rather than negotiations off it.
"I'm not concerned. [I] just go out there and play football, do what I've been doing," he said.