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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Ezekiel Elliott’s importance to the Dallas Cowboys was on full display Sunday, and he did not even play.

For the first time in his career, Elliott was healthy and did not dress for a game. The Cowboys did not even want him going through pregame warmups. At least in 2016, when the Cowboys had home-field advantage wrapped up, Elliott was able to wear his uniform and sit on the bench for four quarters.

On Sunday, Elliott was in a blue sweat suit.

And the Cowboys won anyway, beating the New York Giants 36-35.

Now a rested Elliott will lead Dallas against Seattle in the wild-card round on Saturday. He ran for 127 yards on 16 carries during the Cowboys’ Week 3 loss in Seattle, but he also lost a fumble. The Cowboys are looking to advance to the divisional round of the playoffs for the first time since 2014, and they’ll be facing a Seahawks team that was middle of the pack in rushing defense.

Elliott still kept busy Sunday. He ran the pregame huddle, bouncing around his teammates, pumping them up. On the sidelines, he was talking to his fellow running backs. When Rod Smith bulled his way in for a 1-yard touchdown, Elliott met him with a leaping high-five.

Ezekiel Elliott won’t be wearing a sweatsuit when the Cowboys host the Seahawks. Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire
“Each and every drive I was coming to the sideline and he had something to say. Or as I’m going back out there, [he was] encouraging us,” Dak Prescott said. “But he was definitely locked in. That’s what you need from your running back and a leader of the team.”

By sitting Elliott, the Cowboys showed just how important he will be to their playoff success.

“We all know the leading rusher in the NFL is an important player,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. “But he’s also had more touches. Maybe the guy we played [Saquon Barkley] might’ve been right there with him, but [Elliott] had more touches than anybody I’ve ever been around as far as 15 games. This was real similar to his rookie year when he didn’t play in the last regular-season game when he led the league in rushing that year either.

“I think it will help him, think it’ll be a little jolt for him feeling refreshed going into next week’s game.”

In a league dominated by passing, the Cowboys will look to win the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl in an old-school manner: the running game and defense.

Elliott won his second rushing title in three seasons on Sunday without taking a snap. He finished the year with 304 carries for 1,434 yards. As a rookie in 2016, he had 1,631 yards in 15 games to win the rushing title.

The last team to win a Super Bowl with the rushing champion was the 1998 Denver Broncos when Terrell Davis ran for 2,008 yards. In the Cowboys’ three Super Bowl wins in the 1990s, Emmitt Smith was the rushing champ in 1992, 1993 and 1995.

“We ask him to do a lot of things,” wide receiver Cole Beasley said. “We play through him. He’s our playmaker, so they obviously want to get him as many touches as possible.”

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In the 15 games Elliott played, he accounted for 39.4 percent of the Cowboys’ scrimmage yards, 2,001 of the 5,082 yards, the highest percentage of any player in the league. Through the first 15 weeks, David Johnson of the Cardinals was second at 35.9 percent.

Since selecting Elliott fourth overall in 2016, the Cowboys have not hid their desire to get him the ball. A lot.

In three seasons, he has 5,247 yards from scrimmage. He is only the fourth player in league history to eclipse more than 1,900 scrimmage yards in two of his first three seasons. Eric Dickerson (1983-84), Edgerrin James (1999-2000) and LaDainian Tomlinson (2002-03) are the only others to have done it twice.

Elliott missed six games in 2017 because of a suspension but would have had more than 2,000 scrimmage yards based on his totals through 10 games.

“They drafted me the No. 4 overall pick and I’d like to think that I’ve fulfilled all the expectations that they’ve expected of me,” Elliott said.

This season, Elliott became a bigger part of the passing game partly because he had to with the release of Dez Bryant and the retirement of Jason Witten. His 77 catches are the most by a running back in a season in franchise history. He entered the year with 58 catches in 25 games. He matched his career total with three touchdown receptions this season.

“I’ll never say somebody can replace Witt or what Witt meant, obviously. But just having [Elliott] in your back pocket, knowing you’re in trouble, knowing a blitz is coming or something like that, you got a back you can get it out to or no telling when he gets it, what he might to do with it,” Prescott said. “That serves this offense so much and keeps us ahead of the chains.”

Twice this season Elliott had games with more than 200 scrimmage yards. His four games of at least 200 scrimmage yards are tied for the most in team history with Smith and DeMarco Murray.

“I don’t know anybody who’s better with the ball in his hands,” Beasley said of Elliott.

The Cowboys took the ball out of Elliott’s hands against the Giants.

That won’t be the case in the playoffs.

The Cowboys’ road to Super Bowl LIII will have to be paved by Elliott.

Authentic Cheap NFL Seattle Seahawks Jeremy Lane Womens Jerseys China

The Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans have amended their trade agreement after cornerback Jeremy Lane failed his physical, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Lane will revert back to the Seahawks, who had agreed Monday to send him to Houston along with a 2018 fifth-round pick and a 2019 second-round pick for left tackle Duane Brown.

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Source: Wilson redoes deal to help Brown trade
After the Seahawks agreed to a trade for LT Duane Brown, QB Russell Wilson reworked his contract to create salary-cap space to accommodate Brown, a source confirmed to ESPN.
In the new deal, Seattle will give up a higher draft pick to account for Lane’s not being included in the deal. According to the source, Seattle will get Brown and Houston’s 2018 fifth-round pick in exchange for the Seahawks’ 2018 third-rounder and their 2019 second-round pick.

It’s not clear what caused Lane to fail his physical. He began Sunday’s game against Houston as Seattle’s nickelback but was replaced by Justin Coleman after playing six snaps. Asked Monday about that move, coach Pete Carroll said Lane suffered a thigh bruise.

Lane had returned for Sunday’s game after missing two games and most of a third with a groin injury. He was listed as questionable heading into the Houston game because of that groin injury and also because of a more recent finger injury.
Cornerback Jeremy Lane, who failed his physical Monday, had returned for Sunday’s game against Houston after missing two games and most of a third with a groin injury. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
With Lane reverting back to Seattle and the team adding Brown, the Seahawks are one over the 53-man roster limit and might have to do more salary-cap maneuvering. The Seahawks on Tuesday reworked quarterback Russell Wilson’s contract to free up $4.17 million in cap space, a source confirmed to ESPN. That gave Seattle enough room to absorb Brown’s contract, which included a little less than $5 million for the remainder of 2017. But that was with the remainder of Lane’s salary — a little over $2 million — coming off Seattle’s books.

Lane’s salary is guaranteed for 2017, which means the Seahawks wouldn’t free up any cap space by releasing him. The Seahawks might also decide to keep him to help with depth at cornerback, something they were going to need after trading Lane.

Cheap Authentic NFL Texans Jadeveon Clowney Jerseys China 2017

Jadeveon Clowney is healthy and coming off a breakout season. J.J. Watt also is healthy and ready to resume his potential Hall of Fame career.

For Houston Texans fans, those are fun facts. For Clowney, the potential is scary to think about.

“It’s crazy,” Clowney said of the Texans’ pass-rushing duo to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson. “I’m looking forward to it.”

When the Texans drafted Clowney with the No. 1 overall pick in 2014, they had dreams of putting him as a bookend with arguably the game’s best, Watt, on the other side.
But knee injuries sabotaged Clowney’s rookie season and then slowed him in 2015. Watt, meanwhile, racked up two Defensive Player of the Year awards in those seasons. When Clowney finally got healthy and earned his first Pro Bowl bid last season, it was Watt who missed most of the year with a back injury.

But now Watt’s been cleared and Clowney’s knee issues are in the past. Finally, the Texans’ 2014 visions are coming to fruition.

“When I was healthy, when I got healthy, he got hurt,” Clowney said. “When he was healthy, I was hurt. We’ve never really been on the field together at the same time healthy.

“I feel like we can all be out there together, me and him and the rest of guys and just stay healthy, we’re going to be a special defense.”

In just 25 career starts, Clowney has 10.5 sacks and 99 tackles and has developed into one of the league’s best run stoppers. In 83 career starts, Watt has 76 sacks, 379 tackles and is arguably the league’s best defensive player. Those two, combined with fellow Texans’ pass rusher Whitney Mercilus, who’s logged 19.5 sacks in 25 starts the last two years, have Clowney envisioning the Texans repeating as the top defense once again in 2017.

“I just want us to be the No. 1 defense again,” he said. “That’s big. They got to pick out how we’re doing that every year. They keep asking how we’re getting this.

“We keep competing with the best. We’ve got a lot of good guys around us. No matter how we’re getting it done, as long as it’s getting done, that’s all that matters.”