Tomlinson told the Star-Telegram of Fort Worth that the Dallas Cowboys star needs to continue to improve regardless of what he has achieved in his NFL career.
"You've got to continue to challenge yourself and be honest with yourself in many different ways," Tomlinson said. "The offseason was my time to dissect my game and I was hard on myself. I attacked the things I needed to get better at."
Tomlinson succeeded on that front as the former NFL Most Valuable Player was selected to five Pro Bowls during his 11-year career with the then-San Diego Chargers and New York Jets. He rushed for 13,684 yards and compiled 162 total touchdowns (17 receiving).
Tomlinson was also extremely critical of Elliott last season after the latter appeared to quit on an interception during the Cowboys' lopsided loss to the Denver Broncos.
"He can impact that 53rd man just like he can the quarterback," Tomlinson said of Elliott. "I think he understands what he means to the Dallas Cowboys."
Elliott had a sensational rookie season in 2016 when he was the NFL's rushing champ with 1,631 yards, and had 983 yards and seven touchdowns last season despite playing in just 10 games. He missed six contests for violating the league's personal conduct policy, stemming from domestic violence allegations in July 2016.
Despite what could be deemed as a step back, Tomlinson believes the sky's the limit for Elliott.
"Zeke is in the perfect position right now. He has an opportunity to be a Hall of Fame player, but it's going to be up to him to put the work in. Every single day there is something you can work on to perfect your craft. That means being honest with yourself," Tomlinson said.
"As a player you have to be able to do that because you always have people all around you telling you how good you are. But you need to be honest with yourself and say, 'You know what, I didn't block very good this year or I didn't catch the ball very good. I didn't run this play as well as I would like.' "