Ezekiel Elliott is not planning on a repeat of the 2020 season.
The running back spent much of his offseason focusing on getting in excellent shape, and his progress was captured by a photo of his recent physique that has since gone viral. While he appreciates the comments regarding his new form, he said Thursday his work was intended to do precisely one thing: be a better player than he was in 2020.
"I'm think I'm quicker," Elliott said. "I think my trainer Joshua Hicks, he definitely got me right this offseason and I thank him a lot just for working with me and just making it fun and making me a better player."
A key focus of Elliott's offseason work involved improving his ball security. Amid a difficult season for Dallas, Elliott matched an undesirable career high with six fumbles in 2020. Elliott said Thursday his goal was to make sure he hangs onto the football, because when he loses possession, he's not simply dropping The Duke -- he's disappointing the supporters of America's Team.
"Number one, just, fumbling the ball," Elliott said when asked what he focused on during offseason training. "I've never been a fumbler. When you carry the ball, you kinda carrying the whole hope of the whole team, the whole organization, the whole fanbase. And coughing it up and giving it to the other team, you're letting everyone down. So, I think that's the number one thing, that's my focus this year is protecting the ball."
While Elliott dedicates his physical and mental energy toward handling the rock, the Cowboys as a franchise will keep their sights trained on being better than their 6-10 finish in 2020. Elliott plays a significant role in this, with his mere presence serving as a constant threat to opposing defenses.
That threat only remains significant if he can limit his turnovers. Elliott is determined to make sure he's always atop the list of opponents' concerns when they face the Cowboys in 2021.