Elliott, who is 27, was scheduled to have a non-guaranteed basic salary of $10.9 million in addition to counting $16.7 million against the salary cap. According to sources who spoke with Adam Schefter of ESPN, Elliott will be designated as a post-June 1 cut. This will result in the team saving over $11 million in cap space for the 2023 season, but he will count for slightly more than $6 million in cap space for the 2024 season. The Cowboys won’t receive the cap credit until the first of June at the earliest.
At the most recent NFL scouting combine, the team owner and general manager Jerry Jones expressed optimism about the possibility of retaining both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, the latter of whom was tagged with a franchise price of $10.09 million. However, this outcome was always considered highly improbable. Elliott would have been had to take a significant wage cut, and it is unclear whether the Cowboys even made such an offer to him in the first place. They did not make any pay-cut proposals to DeMarcus Ware or Dez Bryant when they let go of two high-profile players in the past, such as when they did so.
Jones stated in a statement that “Zeke’s imprint and influence is etched into the Cowboys franchise in a very particular and indelible way.” Zeke was a defensive end for the Cowboys. “He has been the epitome of a true professional and a strong leader who has been instrumental in establishing a culture in our dressing room, on the practise field, and in the huddle. Zeke is the epitome of what it means to be a fantastic teammate, and anyone who has ever participated in a sport that requires working together on a team would be extremely fortunate to have a teammate like Zeke and would benefit tremendously as a result.”
Thank you, @EzekielElliott! pic.twitter.com/kYlqwJO6Bf— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) March 15, 2023
Earlier on Wednesday, the Cowboys revised the contract of defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, which opened up $8.89 million in salary space, according to sources who spoke to ESPN. The Cowboys also reached an agreement to rework the contract of offensive tackle Tyron Smith. They are the fourth and fifth players whose contracts they have restructured in the previous two weeks, following in the footsteps of Dak Prescott, Zack Martin, and Michael Gallup, which has freed up over $45 million in space for the franchise.
In the final year of his contract, Smith was scheduled to make $13.6 million and count $17.6 million against the team’s salary cap. As a result of the adjustments, Smith’s base income will decrease, but he will have the opportunity to make up the difference based on the number of games he plays in 2023.
Elliott signed a six-year extension in 2019 that was worth $90 million and included $50 million in guaranteed money. Despite this, Elliott’s numbers have declined over the past three seasons, and the only year in which he surpassed 1,000 yards (with 1002) was in 2021, when the league expanded to a 17-game schedule.
Elliott’s speed has been affected by injuries over the past two years. He didn’t miss a single game in 2021 despite having a partially damaged posterior cruciate ligament, however he did play through the pain. Although though he was only sidelined for a total of two games due to a hyperextended right knee in 2022, he was required to wear a brace for the majority of the season.
Although Elliott remained the starting quarterback for the Cowboys, the team leaned more on Pollard in the previous season. In his first year of eligibility, Pollard was selected to play in the Pro Bowl after rushing for 1,007 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns. If the Cowboys are unable to reach an agreement with him on a multiyear deal by the 15th of July, he will be required to play the rest of the season on the franchise tag.
Elliott’s 876 rushing yards in 2022 were the lowest total of his career, but he still scored 12 touchdowns and remained one of the best short-yardage backs and pass protectors. Nevertheless, throughout the course of the final four games of the regular season, he averaged just 2.7 yards per carry, and for the whole season, he had just 17 rushes of 10 yards or more.
The Cowboys drafted Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall choice in the 2016 NFL Draft with the intention of extending Tony Romo’s playing career behind one of the league’s most talented offensive lines. Romo suffered a back injury in the preseason, which prevented them from ever playing a regular-season game together. But, Elliott assisted fellow rookie Dak Prescott in guiding the Cowboys to a record of 13-3 during their first season together. Elliott finished 2016 with 1,631 rushing yards, which was the highest ever by a rookie in the history of the NFL. He also had seven games in which he ran for 100 yards or more.
In 2017, he was handed a six-game ban for breaking the league’s code on personal behaviour; yet, in 2018, he led the league in rushing yards with 1,434 yards despite having previously been suspended for the same offence. In 2019, he had 1,357 yards on the ground, which was good for fourth place in the NFL.
He had 26 games in which he ran for 100 yards or more in his first four seasons, but in the last three seasons, including 2022, he only had three such games total. He joined Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett, both of whom are in the Hall of Fame, as the only backs in team history to achieve 10,000 all-purpose yards during the previous season.
In July, Elliott will turn 28 years old. He concluded his career with the Cowboys having carried the ball 1,881 times, gaining 8,262 yards, and scoring 68 touchdowns on the ground. He finished the game with 305 receptions, 1,336 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns. It is the third most in franchise history, behind Smith (164) and Dorsett, that he scored 80 touchdowns throughout the course of his career (86).