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Why Jerry Jones believes Ezekiel Elliott is the Cowboys’ ‘best football player’

Plus, injury updates on both the offensive and defensive lines.

You can say whatever you want about Ezekiel Elliott’s season but Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones believes his running back is the best player on his team.

Despite Elliott’s career-lows in yards per game (63.6) and per carry (3.8), Jones has confidence in the running back.

“I know what I see him do relative to the kind of thing he brings to football. His physical-ness, his enthusiasm, his ability to just his innate — he’s our best football player,” Jones said on The Fan 105.3 The Fan (KRLD-FM). “He’s our best one. And having said that, we just got to have more chances to expose him to the defense and we’re going to do that.”

The issues for Elliott have been an offensive line that’s had two different centers, left tackles and right tackles. The inconsistency of the offensive line due to injuries have impacted his ability to make plays.

However, the concern of his inabilities for a variety of reasons raised concerns about whether he’s worth one of the largest contracts in league history for a player at his positon.

“Well, I think we’re selling him short,” Jones said. “You say, ‘Well, numbers don’t sell anything short.’ But I think you’re selling him short. He’s, certainly early, when we were full blown on offense, he was making some things happen, got those turnovers early (five fumbles) that put a lot of focus on what he was doing. But still, I know the impact he has on opposing defenses. I know what I see him do relative to the kind of thing he brings to football.”

Health of Lawrence and Gregory

Cowboys defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory are expected to play in Sunday’s game against Minnesota.

Lawrence has been unavailable due to illness the last two days, but coach Mike McCarthy said he expects him to play both Sunday against Minnesota.

Gregory participated in Friday’s walkthrough practice while Lawrence will do some work in Saturday’s practice.

“He’s progressing,” coach Mike McCarthy said of Lawrence. “I know more (Saturday), I’m not going to speculate.”

Right/left tackle starter

Offensive tackle Brandon Knight (knee) practiced this week and he could return to possibly one of the tackle positions. Knight suffered the injury after two consecutive starts. Cam Erving took his spot at left tackle but with Knight practicing this week he might return, possibly to right tackle over Terence Steele.

“I’m not going to get into any lineup situations,” McCarthy said. “I think we stated come out of the bye. We are going to take the full week. At the end, we will decide how we will line up.”

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In This Story

Dallas Cowboys

Executive Leadership

  • Offensive Coordinator: Kellen Moore
  • COO: Stephen Jones
  • Executive Vice President/Chief Brand Officer: Charlotte Jones Anderson
  • Chief Sales and Marketing Officer/Executive Vice President: Jerry Jones Jr.
  • Head Coach: Mike McCarthy
  • Owner: Jerry Jones
  • Defensive Coordinator: Mike Nolan

Local Headquarters

Frisco, TX

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Calvin Watkins. This is my 10th year covering the Dallas Cowboys. This is special for me because I've never reached the 10th year in anything, other than living. So I guess that's something to be proud of.

calvin.watkins@dallasnews.com @calvinwatkins
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