Mike McCarthy: Cowboys are running back by committee, Ezekiel Elliott won’t do it all

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is back in Dallas, but he won’t have the same role in the offense he did before.

Elliott was always the unquestioned No. 1 running back in Dallas, but when McCarthy was asked if he expects Elliott to be the guy he was before, McCarthy said it’s unrealistic to expect that of Elliott in 2024.

“I don’t think that’s fair,” McCarthy said. “The guy carried the ball more than anybody in the history of football in the first couple years. That’s not going to be his role. We’re running back by committee, but I think he’ll definitely play at the level that he’s played, I know, in my time here. I anticipate that. I don’t see any drop off in the way he moves.”

McCarthy said that when he came up in coaching it was common for a running back to carry the ball 20 or more times a game week in and week out, but that’s not realistic in the modern NFL.

“I grew up with the feature running back,” McCarthy said. “They’d all like to carry it like those days and have those touches, but you want those guys fresh at the most important time of the year.”

Elliott had career lows in carries (184), yards (642), touchdowns (three) and yards per carry (3.5) in New England last year. Back in Dallas, he’s expected to do more — even if everyone knows he’s never going to be the player he once was.

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