After hearing reports about it for a few months, the Dallas Cowboys finally let RB Ezekiel Elliott go on March 15. Elliott still hasn’t been signed a little over a month later. In a strange turn of events, Zeke could end up back with the team that just let him go as a free agent. Recent reports indicate that this may be true.
Could Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott come back?
Teams in the NFL cut players for a lot of different reasons. The NFL is a business, and general managers must do what’s best for the teams they work for, no matter what the reason is (like age, performance, a disagreement over a deal, or a fight).
Elliott’s bond with his team or the people in charge had nothing to do with it. Zeke is loved by everyone who works for the Cowboys. I don’t want to say that this decision was made only because of money because Zeke’s declining play is important, but the main problem was that Elliott’s deal was too expensive.
The last month has been mostly quiet about Zeke, but recent social media posts have started whispers that he might come back to Dallas. April isn’t exactly a busy month in the NFL, so even the smallest things can get a lot of attention. To be fair, I wouldn’t always call this “little.”
Dak Prescott, who is the quarterback for the Cowboys, trained with some of his friends during the offseason. Well, mostly my friends. Elliott and a few of his other buddies were there.
On one hand, this shouldn’t come as much of a shock. Prescott and Elliott have been best friends since 2016 when they both joined the NFL. Even though Zeke is no longer a Cowboy, the two will still spend time together.
On the other hand, these two people aren’t just hanging out. They were working hard to get ready for the season.
Also, when asked if Zeke could come back, head coach Mike McCarthy didn’t say it was impossible. He said, “I think you always keep the door open. Absolutely”
Of course, this is a guy that the Cowboys and their fans care a lot about. Even if those comments aren’t true, McCarthy doesn’t win anything by being negative.
David Moore of the Dallas Morning News doesn’t believe it. “He won’t … The team gave cornerback Stephon Gilmore his number 21. Stephen Jones said the Cowboys didn’t even try to keep Elliott by giving him a lower deal. Respect is the reason. Elliott wouldn’t take the number that would make sense to keep him on this team.
When could Ezekiel Elliott start playing for a team?
I’m not an NFL player, but I think one of the hardest parts of being a professional athlete is accepting that your skills are getting worse. This is going to be worse for former stars.
We saw this happen with Adrian Peterson, who was one of the best running backs of all time. But Melvin Gordon might be the best model from recent times.
After the Broncos chose Javonte Williams, Gordon shared time with him but made it clear that he wanted to be the lead back as the Broncos tried to push Williams in his second season.
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Gordon went to the Chiefs after being let go by the Broncos. He won a Super Bowl in the end, but he was pretty honest in an interview at the Super Bowl about what happened. Gordon still wants to be a team leader. He finds it hard to accept that his time has passed.
I am in no way saying Elliott’s career as a competitive athlete is over. Elliott can still help an NFL team even though he is 28 years old. But he’s not the same person he was when he was 21 to 25.
This is important because what Elliott thinks he’s worth may not be the same as what NFL teams think he’s worth. This is related to what Moore said about why the Cowboys didn’t even try to change Elliott’s deal. They knew how much they would pay. They knew how much Zeke wanted to make. And they both knew it wouldn’t be worth their time.
In the NFL, things change quickly. We could see Zeke sign at any time, in theory. But the most likely thing is that Elliott won’t find a new team for a while. Older running backs often just sit back, wait for a couple of backfields to get hurt, and then take advantage of the situation.
This year, Elliott will play football. Even though he is no longer a lead back, he is sure to play a significant role wherever he goes. We’ll have to wait and see where that is. I don’t think it will be back in Dallas, for what it’s worth.