5 things you didn't know about Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott
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5 things you didn’t know about Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott

5 things you didn’t know about Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott is one of the most recognizable faces in the NFL. The superstar running back of the Dallas Cowboys, Elliott led the league in rushing in his rookie year in 2016. He finished third in the league in TDs (15) in his first pro season, earned a Pro Bowl nod and a selection to the NFL’s All-Pro First Team. He won the NFL’s rushing crown again last season in another Pro Bowl campaign and was named to the NFL’s All-Pro Second Team.

Off-the-field issues have also made Elliott a well-known figure. He was suspended by the NFL for the first six games of the 2017 season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The suspension stemmed from accusations of domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend. Elliott appealed the suspension for much of the year and managed to suit up for the first eight games of the Cowboys’ season. He eventually accepted the league-imposed punishment and served his suspension from Weeks 10-15.

Aside from dominating for “America’s Team” and his suspension, what are some facts about Elliott that even the most diehard NFL fans may not know?

Elliott’s Parents Were Collegiate Athletes at Missouri

As is the case with many professional athletes, Elliott came from an athletically-gifted family. His mother and father, Dawn and Stacy, were both collegiate athletes at the University of Missouri.

Dawn was a member of the Tigers’ women track-and-field heptathlon team, while Stacy played football. Stacy, a linebacker, played for the Tigers during the dark days of their program’s history, as they won just 12 games in his four years with the team.

Born to a family with a longstanding athletic pedigree, Elliott’s grandfather, Leon Huff, played college basketball at Drake University and was named to the Bulldogs 1970s all-decade team.

He Asked Out Taylor Swift via Twitter

During his final season at Ohio State, Elliott utilized social media to ask out singer Taylor Swift. He propositioned Swift before she performed at a concert in Columbus, Ohio.

When she didn’t respond to his request, he asked her if they should meet at Hyde Park.

In his third and final offer (at least on Twitter), he suggested that his then-coach Urban Meyer should invite Swift to the Buckeyes team dinner.

There has been nothing to suggest the two ever got together for anything romantic.

He Used First NFL Paycheck to Buy Parents a New House

Recognizing the impact his parents had on his journey to becoming an elite tailback, Elliott put his first NFL paycheck to good use by purchasing a house for his parents in St. Louis.

Elliott signed his first contract–worth $24.9 million spanning four years with a $16.3 million signing bonus–before his rookie season. Selected fourth overall by the Cowboys in the 2016 NFL Draft, Elliott took advantage of his lucrative rookie deal to reward Stacy and Dawn with a new home

Friend, Teammate Died

Elliott lost a teammate and friend, Kosta Karageorge, a walk-on player for the Buckeyes. Karageorge was a victim of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. He had told his parents that concussions had “rattled” his mind before taking his own life.

Honoring the life on Karageorge, Elliott wore a white towel marked “RIP Kosta” in black marker during games. Elliott served as the pallbearer at Karageorge’s funeral.

“He was a guy that would brighten your day,” Elliott told ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi in an E:60 interview. “No matter what was going on you walk into the room, you see him and you don’t have a choice but to smile.”

Wore Orange Wristbands to Honor Young Fan Battling Cancer

Throughout the course of his rookie season, Elliott donned orange wristbands with “Silver Strong” printed on them. The “Silver Strong” message was dedicated to Jake Silver, 16 at the time, fighting osteosarcoma, a type of cancer that starts in the bones. Jake is a fervid Ohio State fan who has supported Elliott since his playing days for the Buckeyes.

Jake’s sister, Halle, originally contacted Elliott via Instagram regarding her brother’s condition and the wristbands that were made for Jake. Elliott responded to Halle, the then-14-year-old girl, explaining that he loved the bands and pledged to wear them all season long to commemorate her brother’s fight against cancer. Elliott stayed true to his word, donning a new “Silver Strong” wristband for every game of the 2016 season.

Keeping in touch over the past few years, Elliott and Jake met last October for a jersey swap.

“I’ve had communication with him and his family over the past two years,” Elliott said. “I know it’s been rough for him, but I just want to do anything I can to help and make things easier for him and help him out.”