DALLAS COWBOYS UPDATE 

lELLIOTT NOT WORRIED ABOUT WORKLOAD... BUT IT SHOULD INCREASE

As Profootballtalk.com's Charean Williams noted, Ezekiel Elliott gained 47 yards in Week 10. He gained 45 yards in Week 11.

It's the second-fewest rushing yards he ever has had in back-to-back games in his four-year career.

"I think you do have to be patient," the running back said Wednesday. "You can't get too worried about it. You can't play outside of your game. You can't pay outside of this scheme, trying to force something. You have to let the game come to you. That is most important."

The Cowboys rank first in total offense, including first in passing offense. Elliott's 833 rushing yards rank only eighth, 266 behind league-leader Christian McCaffrey.

After averaging 101.2 yards per game in his first three seasons, while winning two rushing titles, Elliott is averaging 83.3 rushing yards per game.

He also is on pace for the second-fewest receiving yards in his career.

Elliott isn't sweating it.

"As long as the offense is rolling, it's good," he said. "I'm not really focused on the total or anything. We know we've got some work to do on the run game. Week in and week out, we're going to attack that, and we're going to get better in the run game. But as long as the offense is rolling and we're scoring 35 points, that's great in the NFL."

It should be noted there has been a sizable (and very noticeable) shift in Dallas' ideology.

Despite handing Elliott a $90 million extension, they've entrusted the team to Dak Prescott, who in a contract year currently leads the league in passing yards. This much was shown Sunday in Detroit, where Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore dialed up 46 pass plays to 24 runs, six of which were provided by Prescott, in a 35-27 win over the Lions.

Of the Cowboys' 509 total yards, Prescott accounted for 444 through the air, nearly decupling Elliott's 45 rushing yards, which he managed on just 16 attempts, his first game under 20 totes since Oct. 6.

"The passing game is rolling right now, so you've got to ride it," Elliott conceded, per The Athletic. "Hopefully it's rolling through the rest of the season and you don't need to run the ball. ... When someone has the hot hand, keep giving them the ball."

We could see a shift against the Patriots, however.

As ESPN.com's Tristan Cockcroft pointed out this week, the two largest fantasy point totals the Patriots have afforded to opposing quarterbacks this season have come in their past two games -- to Lamar Jackson (28.6 in Week 9) and Carson Wentz (12.3 in Week 11) -- but take a closer look: Jackson and Wentz combined to score 21.1 points on passing plays alone, further evidence that this matchup is a nightmare for opposing passers.

Jackson, for one, scored 18.1 of his 28.6 points on rushing plays. Prescott brings some mobility to the table -- his 37.3 fantasy points on rushing plays this season are sixth most among quarterbacks -- but he's not Jackson's equal in that regard, nor does the Cowboys' offense utilize him in the same way.

In addition, Cockroft notes that Prescott's top wide receiver, Amari Cooper, struggled to the tune of 6.8 PPR fantasy points on eight targets last week due to a tough matchup against Lions cornerback Darius Slay.

Cooper's matchup against Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore this week won't be any easier, but the remainder of Prescott's receivers -- Randall Cobb and Michael Gallup especially -- have far tougher matchups this week as well.

"Prescott should struggle to find receivers open," Cockcroft added, "so expect a steep drop in his point total."

And perhaps a corresponding -- or at least noticeable -- increase for Elliott.

As FantasyPros' Mike Tagliere pointed out, if there's one area the Patriots have shown weakness, it's against the run, as they've allowed two of the last three teams they've played to rush for 140-plus yards. Both Nick Chubb and Mark Ingram were able to rush for 115-plus yards while averaging over 6.5 yards per carry.

Oddly enough, neither of them finished better than RB20, as they didn't score. Gus Edwards has the lone running back touchdown against them this year (rushing or receiving) on an astonishing 214 touches.

The next best team in the NFL has allowed a running back touchdown once every 76.0 touches.

Still, the anticipated volume for Elliott should be higher than we saw last week.

As Tagliere summed up, "There is going to be regression to the mean at some point for [the Patriots defense], and Elliott is the type of running back who gets enough work to make it happen."

 MAIN PAGE | TEAM NOTES | MATCHUP NOTES | INJURY REPORT | CHEATSHEETS | STATS/RANKINGSPREVIOUS 
 GAME DAY NOTES
Cowboys at Football Team »
FedExField
Grass
Sun. @ 1300 ET
 COWBOYS LINKS
Team Notes | Injury Report
 FOOTBALL TEAM LINKS
Team Notes | Injury Report
 RETURN TO PREVIOUS