The Dallas Cowboys likely had a chance to keep Ezekiel Elliott but they would never know if it would’ve worked because they simply did not ask him a question.
The Cowboys released their 2016 first-round draft pick on March 15. We are now headed into another month and running back Ezekiel Elliott has yet to land with another team. It appears the team decided to cut him to save him from being disrespected.
Via Jori Epstein of Yahoo Sports, Cowboys executive Stephen Jones explained this week that the team didn’t offer Elliott a reduced contract before cutting him because they did not want to insult him.
“The last thing we want to do is do anything that would be insulting to a player, to a great player, like Zeke, who was one of the best players to ever put on a Cowboys uniform,” Stephen Jones said. “There are sensitivities when you get into making offers.”
Now, other teams are insulting him by not offering him anything in the open market.
No one has been credibly linked to Elliott, and after he pointed out the Jets, Bengals, and Eagles as teams he was interested in, all of them have come out and blocked his attempt.
Elliott had 876 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2022., however, he had 3.8 yards per carry which was a huge drop from his previous career average of 4.5 yards per carry, and even 4.2 as recently in 2021.
Elliott’s role also changed in 2022 as Tony Pollard took the reigns as his replacement. Pollard is set to play 2023 on a $10.1 million franchise tag. Releasing Zeke freed $10.9 million of the $16.7 million he was scheduled to count against their salary cap.
“Sometimes the best thing is to let them get a feel for what the market is,” Stephen Jones said, comparing Elliott’s release to past releases of Cowboys Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and DeMarcus Ware. “When you’re talking about great players — and that’s what makes them great: They think a lot, not in a selfish way, but they perceive themselves as a great player and they are. It just becomes how do you make the business work. It always boils down to that unfortunately.
Pollard will likely receive a heavier load than his 193 rushes to Elliott’s 231 in 2022. The team could take a running back in the draft after they signed veteran Ronald Jones as insurance this offseason. If Zeke somehow returns, his role with the team would be even less.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.