Ezekiel Elliott critical of players sitting out bowl games to prepare for draft

Recently, running backs Christian McCaffery and Leonard Fournette both announced they would be sitting out their teams respective bowl games and instead choosing to prepare for the NFL draft.

This has drawn criticism from a number of people, but perhaps most notably from Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott, who played at Ohio State as recently as last year took to Twitter to express his thoughts.

All these young guys deciding to skip their bowl games ­čĄö.I would do anything to play one more time with my brothers in that scarlet and gray

— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) December 19, 2016

One last time to honor your university and one last chance to play with your boys who will be your brothers for life.

— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) December 19, 2016

And there is a difference between not coming back for your last year and not finishing your last season.

— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) December 19, 2016

Elliott, while not mentioning anybody by name, he is transparently talking about McCaffery and Fournette. He softened his stance, though, after discovering both players had battled injuries throughout the season.

My bad though I didn't realize they were already battling injuries. So I guess it makes sense.

— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) December 19, 2016

I just know how much I loved my university and the guys I played with. My last game was the most memorable moment from my college career.

— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) December 19, 2016

All three players implicated play the same position and are the workhorses and engines for their respective offenses. The difference, though, is that Elliott is already locked into a guaranteed contract, regardless of what happens to his body while playing.

Elliott has the financial security that McCaffery and Fournette fear they are putting at risk by playing in their final game. Both stand to gain very little by playing in their bowl games, even if they have stellar performances.

By now scouts have enough film on them. It’s more important to be in great shape and perform well at the upcoming offseason showcases. While there is something to be said for the consummate teammate, players are told all the time that it is a “business”.

If that is the case, you can’t fault young players who want to protect their investment so that they might actually reap dividends on it.