Ezekiel Elliot was extremely successful at Ohio State where he put up back to back 1800+ yard seasons in 2014 and 2015. The running back was then drafted fourth overall by the Dallas Cowboys and all eyes were on him. How did he do in his first NFL regular season game?
Game 1 of the NFL season for the Cowboys was a home game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on September 11th, 2016. There were just under 93,000 people on hand to see a Cowboys team that featured two prominent rookies, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Elliott got into game action early as he received the hand off on the very first play of the game. He ran off right tackle for a one yard game before being tackled by Nat Berhe of the Giants. He carried the ball seven times on that first drive of his career, with his longest gain being five yards, before the Cowboys went up 3-0 on the strength of a Dan Bailey 23 yard field goal.
The Cowboys would lose the game that day 20-19 and start the season 0-1. Elliott would finish the day with 20 carries for 51 yards and one touchdown. His longest gain was for eight yards. He also caught one pass for a one yard gain.
Ezekiel Elliott went on to put up one of the best rookie rushing performances ever over the course of his first season in the league. But it all started with that 51 yard effort in an opening season loss to the New York Giants.