Cowboys formally unlock RB Ezekiel Elliott after 7 seasons

Todd ArcherESPN Group of workers Creatorlearn 4 mins

Tannenbaum: Tony Pollard is a a long way higher participant than Zeke

Mike Tannenbaum says Ezekiel Elliott’s excellent days at the soccer box are at the back of him, following rumors that the Cowboys are getting ready to unlock him.

FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys launched Ezekiel Elliott, making the working again a unfastened agent, the workforce introduced Wednesday.

Elliott, 27, was once set to rely $16.7 million towards the wage cap with a $10.9 million non-guaranteed base wage. Elliott can be designated for a reduce after June 1, assets informed ESPN’s Adam Schefter, which means that the membership will save about $11 million towards the 2023 cap, however a little bit greater than $6 million towards the 2024 cap. Will rely The Cowboys is not going to obtain cap credit score till June 1st.

At a contemporary NFL scouting mix, workforce proprietor and normal supervisor Jerry Jones remained open to the opportunity of preserving Elliott and Tony Pollard, who got the $10.091 million franchise tag, however this was once now not at all times a chance. Elliott must settle for a considerable pay reduce, and it’s unclear whether or not the Cowboys even made such an be offering. In two of his high-profile releases previously, he did not be offering a pay reduce to DeMarcus Ware or Dez Bryant.

“Zeke’s affect and affect at the Cowboys franchise is explored in an overly particular and indelible means,” Jones stated in a observation. “He has been a consummate skilled and chief who set a tone in our locker room, at the follow box and within the huddle. Zeke outlined what an excellent teammate must be, and to any individual who has ever performed a workforce recreation, he Might be fortunate to have a teammate like Zeke and be significantly better for it.”

Additionally on Wednesday, the Cowboys restructured the contract of defensive finish DeMarcus Lawrence, introducing $8.89 million in cap house, assets informed ESPN, and agreed to re-work offensive take on Tyrone Smith. They’re the fourth and 5th avid gamers whose contracts they have got restructured within the remaining two weeks, after Dak Prescott, Zack Martin and Michael Gallup, releasing up about $45 million in room.

Smith was once set to rely $13.6 million within the ultimate 12 months of his contract and $17.6 million towards the wage cap. With the adjustments, Smith’s base wage will cross down, however he’s going to be capable of become profitable in 2023 in accordance with how a lot he performs.

In 2019, Elliott signed a six-year extension price $90 million that incorporated $50 million in assured cash, however his numbers dropped from the former 3 seasons, passing 1,000 yards (with 1,002) most effective as soon as — in 2021. , when the league expanded to a 17-game agenda.

Accidents slowed Elliot down the remaining two years. He performed via a in part torn posterior cruciate ligament in 2021, whilst now not lacking a recreation. He neglected most effective two video games in 2022 on account of a pressure in his proper knee, however wore a brace for many of the season.

Whilst Elliott persisted because the starter, the Cowboys relied extra closely on Pollard than in earlier seasons. Pollard rushed for 1,007 yards, scored 12 touchdowns, and was once named to the Professional Bowl for the primary time. The Cowboys have till July 15 to signal a multi-year care for him or have him play the 12 months at the tag.

Elliott had a career-low 876 dashing yards in 2022, however he scored 12 touchdowns and remained a best short-yardage again and move protector. However within the ultimate 4 regular-season video games, he averaged simply 2.7 yards according to raise and made simply 17 runs of 10 yards or extra at the season.

The Cowboys decided on Elliott with the No. 4 pick out in 2016 with the concept that he would extend Tony Romo’s profession with one of the crucial excellent offensive strains in soccer. They by no means performed a regular-season recreation in combination, with Romo struggling a again harm within the preseason, however Elliott helped fellow rookie Dak Prescott lead the Cowboys to a 13–3 document. Elliott ran for a league-best 1,631 yards in 2016, the 3rd maximum through a rookie in NFL historical past, and had seven 100-yard video games.

In 2017, he served a six-game suspension for violating the league’s non-public habits coverage, however in 2018 he once more led the league in dashing with 1,434 yards. In 2019, he ranked fourth within the NFL in dashing with 1,357 yards.

He had 26 100-yard dashing video games in his first 4 seasons, however simply 3 within the subsequent 3 seasons, together with none in 2022. 10,000 all-purpose yards.

Elliott grew to become 28 in July. He completed his profession with the Cowboys with 1,881 carries for 8,262 yards and 68 dashing touchdowns. He stuck 305 passes for 1,336 yards and 12 touchdowns. His 80 profession touchdowns is the 3rd maximum in workforce historical past at the back of Smith (164) and Dorsett (86).