Ezekiel Elliott Era Ends in Dallas? Cowboys Step Away from Two-Time Rushing Champions

The Ezekiel Elliott era seems to be over in Dallas.

The Cowboys are parting ways with the two-time NFL Rush champions, and the running back is gearing up for a fresh start with a new team, according to sources close to the situation.

The move could take place on Wednesday afternoon, when the league’s 2003 calendar officially kicks off at 3pm and teams are required to be below the salary cap.

Elliott’s future has been in doubt since the end of the 2022 season.

Elliott, who joined the Cowboys with the No. 4 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, is expected to make $16.4 million toward the 2023 salary cap, with an unguaranteed base salary of $10.4 million.

After rushing for a career-low 876 yards and averaging a career-low 3.9 yards, a pay cut or release was inevitable as Tony Pollard passed him as the team’s leading running back. .

And when the Cowboys gave Pollard a $10.1 million franchise tag and ballooned his running back room salary to an NFL-record $27.68 million in 2023, the day of the reckoning was near.

Owner Jerry Jones told the NFL Combine last month that he wanted to take over Elliott and Pollard as running backs in 2023, but finding good numbers for both proved to be a long way off.

Cutting Elliott would save the Cowboys $4.86 million. If they designated him for cuts after June 1, it would save $10.9 million.

Elliott has run for 1,000+ yards in three of his first four seasons, winning the rushing title twice, but Elliott has surpassed that number only once in the last three seasons. is.

His decline came after he signed a six-year, $90 million deal in 2019, sparking narratives about Elliott’s efforts and play and misrepresenting his worth to the franchise as a leader.

The warranty ended on Elliott’s contract after last season, forcing him to enter the 2022 season with his future on his mind.

After playing with a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, Elliott missed two games in 2022 after suffering from the same knee hyperextension. The running back called the injury his medial collateral ligament tear.

Elliott played the final 10 games of the season with a brace on his knee.

He won’t need offseason surgery and will start fresh and healthy with another team in 2023.

Elliott finished his Cowboys career with 8,262 yards, 68 rushing touchdowns and 80 total touchdowns, ranking third in franchise history in all three categories behind Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett. rice field.

The decision with Elliott puts the Cowboys squarely into the draft running back and free agency market, with Pollard hooked in the one-year franchise tag in 2023 and undrafted rookie Malik in 2022. Davis is the only other running back on the roster. .