Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who had been playing on a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee since October, will not require surgery to correct the issue, the Cowboys Wednesday.
Elliott admitted after Sunday’s season-ending loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC wild card game that the injury had limited his effectiveness since October. The Cowboys expect Elliott to make a full recovery and be ready for next season.
“The PCL injury was something that we feel will heal with rest,” coach Mike McCarthy. “He’s not up for surgery right now, there’s no discussion about having a procedure.”
Elliott suffered the injury in the Oct. 3 win against the Carolina Panthers, but he continued to play through it, even though his production and effectiveness fell off dramatically.
“He had a tremendous start to the season all the way up to Carolina,” McCarthy said. “Carolina is when he was injured. It was clearly the best he’s looked in my time here, physically.”
The Cowboys averaged 164 rushing yards per game during the first six weeks of the season. They averaged 99 yards per game on the ground over the final 11 weeks.
Elliott did not have more than 87 yards rushing in a game over the last 13 games. He had just 31 yards on 12 carries against the 49ers.
McCarthy, however, lauded Elliott for his toughness and showing up every week to help the Cowboys. His blocking in the passing game proved invaluable. “It is something he dealt with and practiced with throughout the year,” he said. “It says something about Zeke, not only his commitment but his toughness.”
The Cowboys have no thoughts of moving on from Elliott. His $12.4 base salary for 2022 is already guaranteed.