ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Ezekiel Elliott has made his preseason cameo.
Now the star Dallas running back waits to see if his regular-season debut will be on hold until late October.
Elliott had eight touches in 10 plays in his only series of the exhibition season with a looming six-game suspension for domestic violence before undrafted rookie Cooper Rush rallied the Cowboys with two touchdown passes in a 24-20 win over the Oakland Raiders on Saturday night.
The 2016 NFL rushing leader was held out of the first three preseason games even though he was healthy throughout training camp. He is appealing the NFL’s conclusion that he roughed up his girlfriend at the time a year ago in Ohio in a case that prosecutors didn’t pursue.
Elliott will be excused from the only two days of practice next week to attend the appeal hearing Tuesday in New York, and won’t play in the preseason finale against Houston. If the suspension is upheld, Elliott’s first possible game is Oct. 29 against Washington.
He had six carries for 18 yards and two catches for 2 yards on a drive to Dan Bailey’s 42-yard field on Dallas’ opening series. Elliott had about the same preseason workload before his standout rookie year, although he had a hamstring injury in camp.
The former Ohio State star has not talked to reporters during camp and declined to comment after the game.
“He’s practiced and performed in the classroom as well as on the field as though he was going to take every snap this year,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. “I thought it was good, and I’m glad we got that kind of work in for him.”
Oakland (0-3) left tackle Donald Penn played 17 snaps over two series just three days after ending his camp-long contract holdout. The first series covered 10 plays and 81 yards, capped by Cordarrelle Patterson’s 17-yard pass from Derek Carr, who also had a 48-yard scoring toss to Amari Cooper.
Carr was 13 of 17 for 144 yards before EJ Manuel replaced him late in the second quarter.
“I’ve got a little rust I’ve got to knock off,” Penn said. “I really appreciate my coaches for having faith in me and believing in me and believing in my work during our time off to let me go in there that fast.”
Dak Prescott, last year’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, had yet another solid preseason outing. The Dallas quarterback was 11 of 14 for 113 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown to Jason Witten. The 15th-year tight end had six catches for 74 yards.
Trailing 20-10 in the fourth quarter, Rush had scoring tosses of 7 yards to Ronnie Hillman and 44 yards to Lance Lenoir. Rush got the second-team nod over veteran Kellen Moore after three strong preseason showings. He was 12 of 13 for 115 yards and a 143.1 rating.
The Cowboys (3-1) preserved the win by forcing two incompletions from Connor Cook at their 9-yard line in the final seven seconds.
LYNCH SITS AGAIN
Marshawn Lynch sat during the national anthem for the third straight week. He hasn’t spoken publicly about why he sits for the anthem, but coach Jack Del Rio said his running back has told him he has done it throughout his career. Lynch was retired last year when Colin Kaepernick made the anthem an issue. Lynch had two carries for 6 yards and one catch for 7 yards , all in the first quarter.
VAUNTED OL STRUGGLES
Dallas’ offensive line was a hindrance in the first half, mostly because of new right tackle La’el Collins. The former starting left guard had two hands-to-the-face penalties that wiped out first downs in addition to a holding call. All-Pro right guard Zack Martin had two penalties. Chaz Green gave up a sack right after Collins’ first hands-to-the-face penalty.
LONG FUMBLE RETURN
Undrafted rookie linebacker LaTroy Lewis returned a fumble 65 yards for a touchdown early in the second half for Oakland, grabbing the loose ball in the air and running untouched to the end zone after Rush lost control as he was about to throw with cornerback Antonio Hamilton running by on a blitz.
POTENTIALLY BIG LOSS
Anthony Hitchens, the Cowboys’ starting middle linebacker, sustained a right knee injury late in the second quarter, and the club fears it is serious.
DT Treyvon Hester, a seventh-round pick, had his third sack of the preseason, a 12-yarder on Prescott. … S Obi Melifonwu, a second-round pick, had two tackles in his preseason debut.
The preseason finale for both teams Thursday: Oakland at home against Seattle and Dallas faces Houston.
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