Ezekiel Elliott says carries will come when Cowboys' offense executes

FRISCO, Texas -- Through three games, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is tied for the NFL rushing lead with 274 yards but he has yet to carry the ball 20 times in a game.

As the Cowboys' offense struggles, averaging just 13.7 points per game, Elliott said he will not go to head coach Jason Garrett or offensive coordinator Scott Linehan to ask for more carries.

"I mean you can do all of that but at the end of the day if you go back and watch the film, it's poor execution on offense," Elliott said. "You can't run the ball if you're down by 17 points. That's what it is. We get behind, we've got to be able to throw the ball and not be able to do what we want to do.

"So what we have to do so we can be able to run the ball more is just ... be better early in the game. If we're better early in the game, if we're not taking those three and outs, if we're not playing long down and distances, you can run the football. If you execute early, we can run the football as much as we want."

Elliott has 48 carries thus far and has gone three straight games without at least 20 carries in a game for the first time in his career. He never went more than one game without getting 20 carries.

At issue for the Cowboys has been poor third-down execution (eight of 34 on the season) and trailing by two and three scores in the losses to the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks.

Elliott has not touched the ball this season as much as he did his first two seasons through the first three games. In 2016, he had 76 touches on 204 plays (37.3 percent). In 2017, he had 67 touches on 182 plays (36.8 percent). This season, he has 59 touches on 165 plays (35.8 percent).

"I think we've had good game plans going into our Sunday, it just comes down to execution," Elliott said. "Us as an offense, us as a whole, we've got to go out and execute the plays that the coaches are drawing up for us better."