Dallas Cowboys Release Running Back Ezekiel Elliott After 7 Seasons

Photo: Instagram/Ezekiel Elliott

On Wednesday, the Dallas Cowboys announced that they have released running back Ezekiel Elliott, making him a free agent.

Elliott's $16.7 million salary was set to count against the team's salary cap, but the Cowboys will now save almost $11 million against the 2023 cap after designating him a post-June 1 cut.

However, they will not get the cap credit until June 1. While team owner and general manager Jerry Jones remained open to keeping Elliott and Tony Pollard, it was always unlikely as Elliott would have had to accept a substantial pay cut.

Photo: Instagram/Ezekiel Elliott

In the past, the Cowboys did not make pay-cut offers to high-profile releases like DeMarcus Ware or Dez Bryant.

Jones praised Elliott's impact on the team in a statement, saying that his "impact and influence is seared into the Cowboys franchise in a very special and indelible way."

Meanwhile, the Cowboys restructured the contracts of defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and offensive tackle Tyron Smith, freeing up a total of $8.89 million and $13.6 million, respectively.

Since signing a six-year extension worth $90 million in 2019, Elliott's numbers have fallen off in the past three seasons, topping 1,000 yards only once, in 2021, when the league expanded to a 17-game schedule.

Injuries also slowed him down in the past two years, with a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in 2021 and a hyperextended right knee in 2022.

Despite remaining a top short-yardage back and pass protector, he had a career-low 876 rushing yards last season.

The Cowboys relied more on Tony Pollard last season, who ran for 1,007 yards, scored 12 touchdowns, and was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time.

The team has until July 15 to work out a multiyear agreement with him or he has to play the year on the tag.

Elliott, who turns 28 in July, finished his Cowboys career with 1,881 carries for 8,262 yards and 68 rushing touchdowns.

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Source: ESPN


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