As the fourth overall pick in the draft and the latest in a line of Cowboys running backs that includes Tony Dorsett and all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith, Ezekiel Elliott is well aware that the expectations are sky high in Dallas.
But he isn’t shying away from them.
“I understand what’s expected of me,” Elliott told the team’s official website. “I understand the lineage of the running back position for the Dallas Cowboys. I’m ready to attack this playbook, attack the field and hold up to the expectations.”
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The expectations bring pressure, of course. Elliott was selected with the No. 4 overall pick and running backs are almost never picked that high, not these days. In fact, before Elliott was picked, the last running back to be selected in the top five was Trent Richardson in 2012. Add to that that he’s coming to an NFL city that has a rich tradition but no real recent success to speak of, and aside from if he was a quarterback, it’s hard to imagine the pressure being any greater.
Elliott embraces the pressure, though.
“There’s pressure, but we’re athletes,” Elliott said. “That’s what we play for. That’s why we play the game. Pressure is what we want and I feel like I thrive in those situations when there is a lot of pressure on me. Yeah, there’s pressure. Am I afraid of it? No. I’m just ready to prove myself.”