Giants know Prescott, Elliott a big challenge
frisco, texas» Ezekiel Elliott called himself average after the New York Giants held him to less than 3 yards per carry in a loss in his NFL debut with Dallas.
The rookie running back hasn’t had to describe himself that way since the 20-19 loss in Week 1. The Cowboys haven’t lost, either.
“It was definitely frustrating, because it was not how I imagined it,” said Elliott, who gets another shot at the Giants as Dallas (11-1) chases a franchise-record 12th straight win and the NFC East title Sunday night. “But I think it definitely helped shape me into the player I am today and put a chip on my shoulder early this season to go out there and get things right.”
Fellow rookie Dak Prescott also debuted as the replacement for the injured Tony Romo. He left an impression with the Giants (8-4) despite the loss, which ended when the clock ran out with Dallas scrambling to get into position for a field goal after receiver Terrance Williams didn’t get out of bounds on a completion.
Three months later, New York doesn’t exactly seem surprised that Prescott has led the Cowboys to a comfortable division lead with a strong chance to secure home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
After admittedly focusing on Elliott and forcing a new quarterback to beat them, the Giants realize it might not be quite as easy to keep Elliott somewhere around the season low of 51 yards he had in the first meeting, while preventing big plays downfield from Prescott.
The Giants will be without pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul, who could miss the rest of the season after surgery for a sports hernia. But the Cowboys don’t expect the approach to change.
“They’ve had good rushers there for 60 years,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said.
The Giants will still have their eyes on Elliott, the NFL’s leading rusher with 1,285 yards.
“You really don’t change much week to week, no matter the opponent,” defensive tackle Damon Harrison said. “It is still the same thing for the defensive line: stop the run, set the edge, build the wall. But when you play a back like Ezekiel, then you have to do some minor tweaks in your assignments.”