OXNARD, CA (KTRE) - Drafted fourth overall and as the Dallas Cowboys No.1 pick, the expectations are high to say the least for running back Ezekiel Elliott. Quarterback Tony Romo isn't getting any younger which may leave Dallas running the ball more than ever.
"The best thing I've learned is just getting out there, getting reps and making mistakes. If you make a mistake, it imprints in your head what you need to do and what exactly is going on. Once you make that first mistake, it kind of clears out everything and makes everything to come to you," said Elliott.
Rushing for nearly 4,000 yards during his college career, Elliot finished as Ohio States second all-time leading rusher. Behind a talented Dallas offensive line, most expect the former Big Ten Player of the Year to put up big numbers in 2016, but the rookie is focused on winning.
"I don't think anyone can expect more of myself than me and my teammates, and that's all that matters," said Elliott. "My mindset is to go out there and help this football team win football games."
Elliott's young, but professional approach to the game has earned the respect of veterans on the team who see great potential for the rookie running back.
"I've really enjoyed getting to know him during this offseason. He approaches the game like a pro. I know he's got a lot to learn and he is excited to do it," said veteran tight end Jason Witten. "You can see the way he handles these situations, you can tell he is talented. I think he'll meet these transitions and have a great career. He just has to go to work now."
"He makes mistakes just like young players do, but I haven't seen him make the same mistake twice- that's for sure," said offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. "He's got a really good mindset going in as a rookie, knowing he has a lot to learn."
Likely to be the Cowboys starter in week one, Elliot realizes the team does have other talented backs in Derrick McFadden and Alfred Morris. Elliot isn't worried though about how many carries he might get and is embracing the competition.
"I think we have a very talented group. Every guy in our locker room I think could play and be a starter, and that's great for everyone. Competition doesn't do anything but make you better. The more you compete against each other, the better you get and the more you push each other. We are going to lean on each other and better each other."