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Patriots' Elliott focused on getting win ahead of return to Dallas

Adam Glanzman / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Running back Ezekiel Elliott is taking a calm approach ahead of the New England Patriots' matchup against his former team, the Dallas Cowboys, on Sunday.

"I'm very appreciative of the time I spent in Dallas, but once again, I'm focused on getting a win," Elliott said, according to MassLive's Mark Daniels.

Elliott is set to square off against his former club for the first time after spending seven seasons with the Cowboys. He signed a one-year contract with the Patriots in August.

"It's just another week for me. Not gonna make it bigger than it is," he said, per the Boston Herald's Andrew Callahan.

The Ohio State product ranks third on the Cowboys' all-time list with 8,262 rushing yards and 68 rushing touchdowns behind Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett. He also recorded 205 catches for 2,336 yards and 12 scores during his time with the team.

The three-time Pro Bowl tailback didn't go into detail about his departure from the Cowboys, who released him in March. Dallas opted to roll with Tony Pollard as its starting halfback after he posted 1,378 scrimmage yards and 12 total scores in 2022.

"I was definitely disappointed but everything happens for a reason," he said Sunday, per ESPN's Mike Reiss. "God has his plan for us. I'm excited for this next chapter in my life. I'm excited to be a Patriot, I'm excited to go chase a Super Bowl here."

Team owner and general manager Jerry Jones hinted that the Cowboys plan to honor the former 2016 first-round pick in some form on Sunday.

"I know that he was one of the best teammates that I've had the privilege of seeing on the Cowboys," Jones said, according to Joey Haden of The Dallas Morning News.

Elliott recorded a season-high 80 yards on 16 carries in New England's Week 3 win over the New York Jets. He's rushed for 122 yards through the Patriots' first three games while backing up starter Rhamondre Stevenson.

While Elliott maintains that he'll try to be even keel ahead of his return, he admits that he's motivated by the Cowboys' decision not to re-sign him.

"I think that's every week," Elliott said.

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