Running back Ezekiel Elliott has been released by the Dallas Cowboys.
The Twitter account of the Dallas Cowboys published a “thank you” post to Elliott on Wednesday after reports of him being released by the organization surfaced online.
Thank you, @EzekielElliott! pic.twitter.com/kYlqwJO6Bf
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) March 15, 2023
Elliott’s tenure with Dallas ends with him being ranked third all-time in Cowboys history in career rushing yards, according to NFL.com. The only two Dallas running backs who finished with more yards rushing the football are Hall of Famers Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith. Elliott led the NFL in rushing yards during his rookie season in 2016 with 1,631 and did it again in 2018 with 1,434.
Prime Zeke was so fun to watch 🍿
End of an era in Dallas
— PFF (@PFF) March 15, 2023
Last season, Elliott had the lowest regular season rushing total of his entire career. Elliott finished the 2022-2023 season with 876 yards on the ground, which is by no means a low number, but it was indicative of him having a drop off in production, according to Pro Football Reference.
His career in Dallas was above-average but it’s just sad that the last play of his tenure with the team ended with him being flattened on a stupid trick play in the postseason.
Zeke’s final play as a Dallas Cowboy 💀 pic.twitter.com/niT1Qq3kkQ
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) March 15, 2023
That said, I can’t imagine that the veteran running back will be a free agent for long.
The two teams that I could see Elliott playing for next are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the New England Patriots. (RELATED: REPORT: Baker Mayfield Signs With The Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
If Elliott were to sign with the Buccaneers, I imagine that he’d be given a handful of carries throughout the season, probably as much as he got last season with Dallas. I believe he’d be Tampa Bay’s primary ball carrier considering how they just released running back Leonard Fournette into free agency and have just one decent running back left on their roster in Rachaad White. White had just 481 rushing yards last year during his rookie campaign. If Elliott wants a load of carries still at this stage of his career, I’d suggest he goes to Tampa Bay. If not, him signing with the New England Patriots would make a lot of sense too.
The Patriots already have a good one-two punch at running back with Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. Both backs accumulated over 1,500 yards of rushing last season for New England. Adding Elliott into the mix as a short yardage running back would give the Pats a lethal run game. Even though Zeke is getting older, his six-foot, 225-pound frame of muscle is still difficult for defenders to tackle down to the ground. I imagine that he’d be a powerful goal-line running back for them and would give New England a damaging three-headed monster at the running back spot.
Elliott is still a good player and will improve any team he decides to join.