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Sport Ezekiel Elliott takes blame for fumbles, Cowboys' blowout loss: 'I want to say I'm sorry'

07:30  21 october  2020
07:30  21 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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Ezekiel Elliott said he let his Cowboys teammates down by losing two fumbles for the first time his career in Monday’s loss to the Cardinals. Continue Reading.

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Even after the Cowboys’ 38-10 loss to the Cardinals had mercifully ended, Ezekiel Elliott was still fumbling.

At this late hour, it wasn’t the ball.

The Cowboys’ three-time Pro Bowl running back was now fumbling to find the right words to explain his turnover trend.

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“I can’t really—even—um—I don’t know why,” Elliott said after losing two fumbles in one day for the first time in his career and now four total this season.

a football player holding a football ball: Arizona Cardinals strong safety Budda Baker (32) forces Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) to fumble in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. © Tim Heitman, USA TODAY Sports Arizona Cardinals strong safety Budda Baker (32) forces Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) to fumble in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium.

Elliott settled on an apology.

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Ezekiel Elliott said he let his Cowboys teammates down by losing two fumbles for the first time his career in Monday\'s loss to the Cardinals.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was one of his team's few bright spots during Sunday's 24-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but not even He also fumbled in the fourth quarter when the Cowboys were driving. " I had no idea [ I was out of bounds]," Elliott said of the missed touchdown

“I want to say I’m sorry,” he said, “and this one’s on me. I need to be better for this team.”

Elliott knew the Cowboys were relying on him to elevate his game after quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle last week. Instead, he and replacement quarterback Andy Dalton combined for four turnovers to increase the 2-4 Cowboys’ total to a league-high 15.

“We’re the worst in the league taking care of the football,” head coach Mike McCarthy said. “It’s frustrating.”

Elliott’s woes came first and, as he’d later say, “killed our momentum.” The Cowboys’ defense had posted its best first quarter of the season, holding an opponent scoreless in that stretch for the first time all season.

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It was Elliott 's fourth and fifth fumble of the young 2020 season, and he's lost four of the five, continuing an overall rash of I need to figure something out . I want to say I ' m sorry . Opponents have now scored a league-high 84 points after taking the ball away from Dallas, and Mike McCarthy's

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is accepting full blame for the team's 24-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, despite the fact that he " I had a poor performance today," Elliott said during the post-game according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. "Did well in the run game, but overall, I

But the Cowboys offense mustered no points in the first quarter, either. And with 2:44 to play in the first, Dalton shoveled a short pass up the middle to Elliott as the Cardinals defense closed in on the pocket. Cardinals safety Budda Baker wrapped Elliott, who was carrying the ball loosely, just below the waist. Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips recovered the fumble.

Arizona’s offense then ripped off an 11-play drive, capped by a 6-yard Christian Kirk touchdown on a jet sweep.

“We’ve been putting our defense in bad situations,” Dalton said. “When you do that, you’re going to make it hard on yourself to win these games.”

The Cowboys offense returned to the field, now in a 7-0 hole.

On the second snap of the drive, Elliott pushed up the middle with a carry only to find himself wrapped up by Phillips, whose arm knocked the ball loose again. Cornerback Byron Murphy recovered, setting up a 49-yard field on which the Cardinals would score their second touchdown. Elliott took the hand the ball escaped from and angrily slapped the side of his helmet.

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Ezekiel Elliott was benched in the fourth quarter Sunday after his second fumble . Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he's not worried about the rookie runner going forward. Ezekiel Elliott set a career high with 83 rushing yards on 21 carries, including an impressive 21-yard tote and a TD plunge.

No matter the down, distance, or personnel grouping, Elliott can do whatever role is needed of him at any given time. It's that kind of versatility and raw talent that makes him (in my opinion) the Cowboys ' most valuable player. Enjoy the show! Vocal mixing was done by Matt Moulton.

He began the next series on the sideline. For eight plays, he was effectively benched.

“If you don’t take care of the football, it obviously will affect your opportunities,” McCarthy said of opting for running back Tony Pollard on that drive.

Elliott supported the move.

“They did the right thing,” he said. “I’m giving the ball away. I wasn’t helping the team. … I’m supposed to be a guy that this team can lean on when times get rough, and I just wasn’t that today.”

Turnovers weren’t a new problem nor a Dalton-specific issue for the Cowboys. Prescott had uncharacteristically thrown four interceptions and fumbled three times this season before getting hurt, even as he set league records tied to passing yards.

Even so, Dalton—under heavy pressure for much of the night behind an injury-hampered offensive line—did not help. His checkdowns weren’t enough to move an offense, Dalton netting 82 yards on 20 attempts in the first half. The Cowboys did not score a touchdown until the final 3 minutes of the game. And when Dalton did take chances—he finished 34-of-54 for 266 yards—he repeatedly missed receivers, including on two costly interceptions the Cardinals converted for another 10 points.

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McCarthy declined to assess how Dalton fared in the Cowboys’ first game since the 2015 season to be started by a quarterback other than Prescott.

“I, frankly, don’t want to be rude,” McCarthy said. “I have no assessments for you tonight. I think we all understand what the score is. We didn’t play very well on offense, defense or special teams. Most importantly, I didn’t coach very well.”

But it was the inability to protect the football that pained McCarthy most, as the Cowboys fell to 2-4 in his opening season, a mark still good enough to lead the NFC East. McCarthy alternated between describing the self-inflicted hole as discouraging, irritating and disappointing. He blamed himself.

“I have a continuing issue with ball security on my football team,” McCarthy said. “That’s something I personally take a lot of pride in and how it reflects on how you play the game of football.

“I’m not getting it done right now.”

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ezekiel Elliott takes blame for fumbles, Cowboys' blowout loss: 'I want to say I'm sorry'

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