It’s a tough and daunting proposition for a rookie to enter his first NFL game, even in the pre-season, especially against one of the best and most physical defenses in the entire league. Dallas Cowboys first-round pick Ezekiel Elliott met that challenge with a giant shrug.
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The man they call Zeke showed out against the Seattle Seahawks defense, rushing seven times for 48 yards (an average of 6.9 yards per carry) and fearlessly engaging one the hardest-hitting safeties in the NFL. Elliott and Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor had quite the back and forth during Elliott’s time on the field, colliding three times in what amounted to two semi-tricks plowing into each other at full speed.
Their first encounter, a first down run by Elliott in which he lowered his shoulder directly into Chancellor’s chest, surprised the Seahawks veteran.
“I was (surprised), because there was no film on him, so I didn’t know if he was going to juke or whatnot, so I was a little surprised, but not the second time,” Chancellor told ESPN.
The second time, Elliott took a handoff from Dak Prescott, scampered to his left, and then cut back to his right before running straight into Chancellor. The impact was so great that it sent Elliott, who had lowered his shoulder once again, spinning to his left, which actually helped the rookie gain a few extra yards.
Between those runs, Chancellor took a major shot of his own, rocking Elliott over the middle of the field after a dump-off pass from Prescott missed the mark. Elliott went tumbling to the ground but popped right back up and immediately aimed some words at Chancellor, who was flagged for the play.
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“He’s got a lot of courage for that. I’ll give it to him,” Chacellor said of Elliott’s fearlessness. “But if it was a full game, it would have been a bloodbath.”
The Cowboys don’t play the Seahawks in the regular season, which is super sad; but let’s cross our fingers and hope they meet in the NFC playoffs, when we can get the Elliott-Chancellor rematch we deserve.