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Ezekiel Elliott blames himself for fumble that didn’t look like fumble

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Chris Simms shares what he saw on film from the Saints' defense against the Cowboys' offense in New Orleans' win on Sunday Night Football.

Ezekiel Elliott has lost one fumble a season in his four NFL seasons. That’s one every 235 carries.

Ball security isn’t an issue for the Cowboys running back.

Elliott fumbled late in the second quarter Sunday. It appeared his elbow was down before the ball was lost, but Al Riveron, the NFL’s supervisor of officials, apparently didn’t see a definitive view. He let the call on the field stand, giving the ball to the Saints.

Elliott blamed only himself.

“I mean, I don’t really think it matters whether my elbow was down or not,” Elliott said Wednesday. “It’s my job not to leave it up to the refs. It’s my job to make sure I possess the ball through that play, so there’s not even a chance for them to call a fumble. My elbow may or may not have been down, but one thing I can control is holding onto the ball.”

Elliott later reiterated that he needs to “hold onto it tighter.”

The Pro Bowler found tough sledding against the Saints, gaining the third-fewest yards in a game in his career. He had 18 carries for 35 yards and a touchdown, with his 1.94 yards per carry the second worst of his career.

“We didn’t execute as well as we need to,” Elliott said. “We didn’t come out there and start fast. We didn’t execute. We didn’t establish the line of scrimmage, so we’ve got in the film room to see what we need to improve on. Now, we’ve just got to go to work and prepare for Sunday.

“I mean we recognize they’re a pro team also, and they have great players too, but all we can focus on is what we do and how we can improve.”