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Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott surpasses 5,000 career rushing yards

Ezekiel Elliot, Cowboys

Athletes seek achievements which improve their legacies and add luster to their careers. Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys wishes his team could win, however.

Thursday against the Buffalo Bills, Ezekiel Elliott passed the 5,000-yard rushing mark in his NFL career. Ed Werder of ESPN noted how rapidly Zeke attained this personal milestone:

The nature of Elliott’s feat doesn’t change based on the fact that the Cowboys lost to the Bills, 26-15. Becoming one of the NFL’s elite running backs and quickly reaching the 5,000-yard milepost should not be dismissed, downgraded, or discarded just because the team isn’t flourishing.

Nevertheless, it remains that it is much harder to celebrate a significant personal achievement when one’s team exists in a state of crisis and has fallen far short of its potential. That is exactly what is happening in Dallas, where the Cowboys entered the 2019 season with Super Bowl dreams and have been reduced to fighting for the title of one of the worst divisions in the NFL.

Dallas will have to go 3-1 in the month of December to finish above .500, barring a tie. The Cowboys are 6-6 on the season after the decisive loss to Buffalo on Thanksgiving Day. Who has time to celebrate a personal achievement when the mood in the locker room is bleak and the head coach, Jason Garrett, is squarely on the hot seat?

The frustration felt by Ezekiel Elliott has to build — not decrease — when one realizes that in this game against the Bills, he carried the ball just 12 times despite averaging roughly six yards per carry. Elliott carried 12 times for 71 yards. Improbably, he received only two carries in the second half, an indictment of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, whose job is on the line as much as Garrett’s is.

Ezekiel Elliott has done something special. Yet, his team is anything but special. So it goes in Dallas, where the 24-7 Jason Garrett watch never stops.