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Mike McCarthy: Ezekiel Elliott has definitely set himself up for his best season

Dak Prescott is looking to be a dual-threat quarterback in 2022 after an ankle injury saw him largely unable to successfully contribute to the Cowboys' run game.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott’s last two seasons have been underwhelming, but the offseason is a time for optimism and there’s been no shortage of it coming from the Cowboys.

Quarterback Dak Prescott said last month that he expects a healthy Elliott to turn in his best NFL season. Head coach Mike McCarthy was asked about Prescott’s comment on Thursday and said he shared Prescott’s belief that Elliott is on track to rebound this year.
“I think the biggest thing with Zeke is he’s completely healthy now and he’s had a tremendous offseason,” McCarthy said, via Mark Lane of WFAA. “The weight that he has been pushing in the weight room, just the numbers that he’s been cranking out have been very, very impressive. I can’t tell you it’s been the best of his career, but he’s in top shape. At the end of the day, he’s an extremely instinctive, tough, smart football player, great teammate. So, I think he’s definitely set himself up for that.”

Elliott’s contract runs through the 2026 season, but there’s no more guaranteed money on the deal after this year and he will likely need to have at least one of the best years of his career in order for the Cowboys to keep him around at a $10.9 million salary and $16.72 million cap hit next season.