Cowboys Running Back Royce Freeman Reveals First Impressions Of Team Camaraderie, Ezekiel Elliott

The Dallas Cowboys organization, running back Ezekiel Elliott and coach Mike McCarthy have quickly impressed new Cowboys running back Royce Freeman. In an exclusive article, Freeman reveals his first impressions of the team.
Dec 29, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) wait to take the field before the game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 29, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) wait to take the field before the game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys organization, running back Ezekiel Elliott and coach Mike McCarthy have quickly impressed new Cowboys running back Royce Freeman. 

The veteran’s path to Dallas includes four different NFL teams in his six seasons, most recently with the Los Angeles Rams in 2023. 

“The team camaraderie is very good,” Freeman told Cowboys SI’s Bri Amaranthus. “It's very noticeable and very apparent from the older guys bringing up the younger guys, bringing that energy.”

Freeman continued, “As a staff, an organization, the Cowboys have a lot of resources. Especially coming new on board, It's a lot to handle and dissect. They make it really easy and I appreciate that.”

After signing a one-year deal with Dallas, Freeman will compete alongside Elliott, Rico Dowdle and Deuce Vaughn for major playing time with the Cowboys. 

Dec 10, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  Los Angeles Rams running back Royce Freeman (24) on the field prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens  at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 10, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Royce Freeman (24) on the field prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the first time Freeman and Elliott have shared a locker room but not the first time they’ve faced off. Ironically, Freeman’s Oregon Ducks and Elliott’s Ohio State Buckeyes competed in the 2014 National Championship game at AT&T Stadium. 

Elliott wow’d, breaking out for an impressive 246 yards and four touchdowns as the Buckeyes beat Oregon to become champions in the first-ever college football playoff. 

“Definitely that's crazy to think about that,” Freeman told Amaranthus. “It’s definitely full circle. That was like one of the first years of stadium was open. Ohio State was a great team and Zeke a great player.”

“I think he's a great teammate,” Freeman told Amaranthus. “Honestly, I think he cares. He wants to see everybody do well. He wants to bring that camaraderie. He's seen a lot in the league and just wants to relay that to other people.”

In McCarthy’s “running back by committee approach,” Dallas’ 2024 running back room is a healthy dose of competition with hopes of breeding excellence. 

“There's so much versatility, in abilities and in age,” Freeman told Amaranthus. “Everybody can really do everything. Everybody's building and trying to help each other out. It's great to have that competitive nature and boost each other up as as the days get long.”

The big-bodied Freeman excels with a quick burst, pass protection and blocking. McCarthy was surprised by Freeman’s size and ability to quickly adjust to the Cowboys during the first with of Dallas’ OTAs. 

Freeman was equally impressed with McCarthy and his excellent communication as a leader. 

“As a coach, he is determined to relay the goals to the team,” Freeman told Amaranthus. “He’s not afraid to say anything and you know what the standards are. I appreciate that. I like that type of coaching. It's up to us, especially the older guys in the locker room, to to make sure everybody else follow suit.”

Freeman was a third-round pick by the Denver Broncos in the 2018 NFL draft. He has rushed for 1,792 yards on 471 carries and 10 touchdowns during his NFL career. 

With the star on his helmet, the 6-foot, 240-pound back is ready for whatever workload is thrown his way in 2024. 


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Bri Amaranthus

BRI AMARANTHUS

Emmy-Winning Reporter