Dallas Cowboys to release RB Ezekiel Elliott after seven seasons, per multiple reports
Ezekiel Elliott’s time with the Dallas Cowboys has come to an end.
The Cowboys will release Elliott, who was the No. 4 pick in the 2016 NFL draft, to end his time with the franchise after seven seasons, according to multiple reports.
Elliott was set to count for $16.7 million against the Cowboys’ salary cap in 2023, according to Over The Cap, with his $10.9 million base salary not guaranteed. As a post-June 1 cut, his release will save the team his full salary against the cap.
Elliott had four years remaining but no guaranteed money left on a six-year, $90 million extension he signed with the Cowboys in September 2019.
The 27-year-old is coming off a season in which he rushed for a career-low 876 yards and 3.8 yards per carry. It was the first time in Elliott’s career he rushed for under 979 yards and averaged below 4 yards per carry.
Still, the Cowboys star made the most of his opportunities to score, rushing for 12 touchdowns, marking the fourth time in his career he produced double-digit touchdowns in a season.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Elliott had more than 1,300 yards rushing in three of his first four seasons, including leading the NFL with 1,631 yards as a rookie in 2016 and 1,434 yards in 2019.
Elliott also led the NFL with the highest yards per game average rushing during his first three seasons.
Elliott played through a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the 2021 season, when he had 1,002 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns in 17 games. He also hyperextended the same knee last season, causing him to miss two games.
Elliott did not need offseason surgery, according to the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram.
Running back Tony Pollard has emerged for the Cowboys over the past two seasons. The Cowboys applied the franchise tag to Pollard for $10.1 million this offseason after the back’s breakout year in which he led Dallas with 1,007 yards rushing. He also had nine rushing touchdowns.
Pollard also was a stout weapon coming out of the Cowboys’ backfield, producing 371 yards receiving and three receiving touchdowns last season. In January, however, he underwent surgery to repair ligaments from a high ankle sprain he suffered in the divisional-round playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Elliott ranks third on the Cowboys’ all-time list with 8,262 yards rushing, 68 rushing touchdowns and 80 total touchdowns. Only Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett, both Hall of Famers, had more in Cowboys history.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dallas Cowboys release Ezekiel Elliott after seven seasons