Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot gashed the NFL’s number one defense. In fact, Elliot led the Cowboys to a victory over the Carolina Panthers. He carried the ball 20 times for 143 yards and three touchdowns. The two-time rushing champion put the Cowboys on his back this past Sunday by running for his first “hat trick” game of the season. The Panthers were outplayed and defeated, 36-28.
The Dallas Cowboys managed to rush for 245 yards after the Panthers only allowed 135 total rush yards within the first three games, per ESPN. Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard were able to enforce their will on the Panthers and establish their presence early in the game.
“They’re a good defense,” Elliott said after finishing with his most yards since 2018. “The Cowboys bring a lot of different fronts. They run a lot of different things so they’re going to change it up. They haven’t seen an offense like us this year.”
Although the Panthers had a difficult time stopping the offense of the Cowboys, this doesn’t take into account how exceptional Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold played. Darnold led the offense without the injured star Christian McCaffery; however, he had two rushing touchdowns and made history. He was the first NFL quarterback to have five touchdowns on the ground in the first four games.
In addition to his two rushing touchdowns, Darnold completed 26 out of 39 passes, threw for 301 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.
“I think this was just a matter of what defenses want to do to us,” said Darnold, who carried six times for 35 yards. “If they want to show us certain looks, we’re going to take advantage of it.”