Dallas Cowboys Make Big Move on Ezekiel Elliott Ahead as Free Agency Begins
The Dallas Cowboys just made a big move on one of their star players. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Cowboys informed running back Ezekiel Elliott that he will be cut from the team as free agency began. Elliott has been designated as a post-June 1 release, so the Cowboys save some money by cutting him.
This is not a big surprise considering Elliott's future with the Cowboys has been up in the air for the last year. This past season, Elliott is coming off career lows attempts (231), rush yards (876) and rushing average (3.8), but he did score 12 total touchdowns. Tony Pollard has become the Cowboys' No. 1 running back, rushing for 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns in 16 games.
Cowboys to release RB Ezekiel Elliott. (via @RapSheet, @TomPelissero) pic.twitter.com/DuRApvbHTR— NFL (@NFL) March 15, 2023
Elliott signed a six-year, $90 million contract in 2019, and his numbers have been on the decline. In the last four years, Elliott has only rushed for over 1,000 yards twice. When Elliott signed the deal, he was coming off a career year, rushing for 1,434 yards on 304 carries in 2018. Releasing Elliott as a post-June 1 cut will save the Cowboys $10 million. The team placed the franchise tag on Pollard, meaning he will receive a one-year tender at $10.1 million despite coming off a season-ending leg injury.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones talked at the NFL Combine about how they wanted to keep Elliott on the roster. "I think if you'll carry through how we used them both last year, in anything we've talked about, I haven't seen that we wouldn't have both doing the best things they do," Jones said, per the Cowboys' official website. "We've got to remember Zeke was limited — he wasn't as limited as we would've worried about him being — but he was limited last year."
Jones also believes that Elliott is not on the decline. "I know I've got a reputation for being reluctant to look at great players as they go in the later years of their careers, but I don't need a feeling of [nostalgia' to turn on a tape and see what a difference-maker [Elliott] was last year in games through the end of the year," Jones continued. "He made plays, made runs that, had we not made them, things could've been more negative than they turned out."