Ezekiel Elliott knows how to rock a crop top, but he did it in a whole new way for the NFL draft. The newly crowned Dallas Cowboy showed off his abs during the much-watched pro football draft on Thursday night, seemingly thumbing his nose at the NFL’s recent rule about players wearing midriff-baring jerseys. According to SB Nation, the NFL has banned players from wearing crop top jerseys, but there is no rule about wearing crop top shirts at the draft. Leave it to Zeke to come up with this fashion statement.
Elliott, who was drafted by the Cowboys fourth overall in the 2016 draft, dressed up for his big day in a powder blue suit jacket and a white bow tie, but underneath his unbuttoned jacket he wore a cropped dress shirt.
It should be noted that Ezekiel Elliott only showed off his toned tummy on the red NFL red carpet, and when his name was called by the Cowboys, he had his shirt pulled down. But according to ABC News, the 20-year-old running back, who rushed 1,878 yards last season with the Buckeyes, said he didn’t want to miss the opportunity to stand out on the NFL red carpet.
“I wanted to be a little different than everyone else,” Elliott said. “I had to go out on the red carpet with the crop top.”
Of course, the internet went crazy over Ezekiel Elliott’s unconventional suit look, but midriff-baring isn’t exactly new for him. Ezekiel Elliott first started wearing crop football jerseys, which are really just jerseys that that are rolled up and folded under the pad, when he was playing for Ohio State in 2014, and it quickly became his signature look. Ezekiel is so connected to his crop top look that he even trademarked the name “Zeke’s Crop Top Bar and Grill” and the phrases “In Crop We Trust” and “Hero in a Half-Shirt,” according to the Washington Post. But the NCAA’s 2015 decision to ban college players from wearing crop top jerseys put a damper on the talented running back’s look — at least on the field.
According to the New York Times, rolled-up jerseys were in vogue in the 1970s, and they made a comeback in the mid-1990s thanks to 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George’s penchant for showing off his midriff. While Ezekiel Elliott might like the throwback look, he told USA Today that for him, it is really more about how his the jerseys fit.
“I just don’t like how loose jerseys are at the bottom, so I just tuck it up and roll it,” Ezekiel said. “I get in trouble for it every once in awhile. I’ll have to come out at halftime, pull my jersey down and tuck it in.”
Still, Ezekiel Elliott’s unconventional red carpet look has some fans already comparing him to a Cowboys Hall of Famer. In case you need a refresher, in 1990, newbie Cowboy Emmitt Smith wore a brown and yellow polka dot jumpsuit to his first post-draft press conference. If Elliott has half the career that Smith did, he will be one lucky — and fashionable — Cowboy. And can you imagine the crop top costume options if Ezekiel follows in Emmitt’s footsteps and goes on to compete on Dancing with the Stars someday?
As for the 2016-17 NFL season, keep an eye on Ezekiel Elliott. He may not be playing football with a crop top jersey, but you may just be able to sneak a peek at his stomach on the sidelines.
Take a look at the video below to see Ezekiel Elliott explaining why he likes to roll up his jersey.
[Photo by Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images]