Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has a plan for how long he’ll play in the NFL.

He may be funny on the gridiron, but Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has chosen to be anything but when addressing the media this offseason.

When asked about the 2021 season, Elliott conceded. That his torn PCL limited his burst, hindering his overall effectiveness. He offered similar transparency this week when asked about playing in the preseason. The Cowboys’ training camp includes joint practices against the Broncos and Chargers, two of the three teams Dallas will face in the preseason.

“I’ve been playing football for 20 years,” Elliott saidBy Jon Machota of The Athletic. “This is my seventh year (with the Cowboys). I’ve seen a lot of football. I don’t think I need a preseason game, especially with the combine.”

While focused on the present, Elliott continues to have a big-picture view of his career. He said Wednesday that he thinks he will play enough to reach the 10,000-yard rushing barrier, a mark that only 31 backs in league history have accomplished. Elliott’s career numbers currently stand at 7,386 yards for an average of 1,231 yards per season over his first six seasons. Given his annual averages, Elliott may only need to play two or three more years to reach the 10,000-yard mark.

If he reaches that mark, Elliott will become just the third player in franchise history to reach 10,000 career rushing yards. Two Cowboys backs to reach that total, Emmet Smith and Tony Dorsett, are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They also won a combined four Super Bowls while helping the Cowboys earn unofficial honors as “America’s Team.”

Not only does Elliott want to add Smith and Dorsett to the 10K club, he aspires to join them as Super Bowl champions and Hall of Famers. In fact, Elliott’s desire to reach 10,000 career rushing yards is tied to his desire to one day earn a spot in Canton, Ohio.

“Obviously it’s a goal, winning a Super Bowl, getting a gold jacket,” Elliott said. “There aren’t a lot of Goldjackets who don’t rush for 10,000 yards.”

He is right. Of the 27 Hall of Fame-eligible backs with 10,000 career rushing yards, only 16 have bronze statues and gold jackets. However, there are several Hall of Famers who didn’t reach 10,000 yards, but all had bad conditions that prevented them from reaching that mark. Those players either won Super Bowls or did something else that paved the way for pro football immortality.

Elliott has certainly put himself in a position to one day be considered for the Hall of Fame. Along with reaching 10,000 yards, a Super Bowl win and/or breakout season would help Elliott strengthen his future case as a Hall of Fame player.