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Cowboys first-round pick Ezekiel Elliott will make his regular-season debut on Sunday against the Giants, a development that comes days after the Columbus, Ohio, city attorney’s office announced that it would not press domestic violence charges against the former Ohio State star against an ex-girlfriend.

And while Elliott is glad to have his name cleared, he also understands that celebrity comes at a price.

“I’m a target, that’s what I’ve realized from all of this,” he said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I’ve got to conduct myself that way so I can not have any distractions and I can just focus on ball.”

The allegations from the ex-girlfriend included text messages that suggested Elliott might be worried about passing a drug test before the start of Cowboys’ training camp.

“I’m a target, that’s what I’ve realized from all of this. I’ve got to conduct myself that way so I can not have any distractions and I can just focus on ball.”Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott

“Honestly, I have no idea what you are talking about. I haven’t seen those,” Elliott said. “I’m actually talking about football. I’m sorry.”

And now, with the issue behind him, Elliott is singularly focused on football.

“We were very confident since day one,” the rookie said. “Wasn’t really worried that much. I know I didn’t do anything wrong. Honestly, I was just focused on ball. I let my lawyers and representatives handle the rest. I’m glad to put the distractions behind me and I’m excited to start this season. I’m excited to open up against the Giants and I’m ready to leave all that behind me.”

Elliott wasn’t interested in announcing any personal goals for the season, but his presence in the backfield will make life immeasurably easier for rookie fourth-rounder Dak Prescott, who has been pressed into duty following Tony Romo‘s back injury, which could keep the veteran quarterback sidelined for 6-10 weeks.


Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott knows celebrity comes at a price: ‘I’m a target’