Dallas Cowboys release Ezekiel Elliott after 7 seasons

The Dallas Cowboys have announced that they will be parting ways with running back Ezekiel Elliott, bringing an end to his seven-year tenure with the franchise. The team’s owner, Jerry Jones, confirmed the news on Wednesday, noting that Elliott will be designated as a post-June 1 cut. While the 27-year-old did have a relatively down season in 2022, with career lows in rushing attempts, yards, and average, Dallas had previously expressed interest in keeping him on for the upcoming season.

Jones released a statement on the decision, saying, “We have mutually agreed with Zeke that the best decision for everyone is that he will be able to experience free agency, and we can increase our flexibility and options as well. This is one of the toughest parts of operating a team. Moments like this come, and extremely difficult decisions and choices are made. For the franchise. For me personally. For players too. We will always have a special place and love for Zeke and what he means to our Cowboys family, both as a person and a player. That will never change.”

Despite a decline in performance since signing a six-year, $90 million extension in 2019, Elliott did manage to account for 12 touchdowns in the past season. However, a knee injury sidelined him for two games, and he returned to wear a brace for the remainder of the year. The roster move is expected to save the Cowboys more than $10 million, with the franchise tag now placed on Tony Pollard, guaranteeing him a one-year tender at $10.1 million.

Elliott’s time with the Cowboys has been notable, with the running back racking up 8,262 rushing yards over his career, placing him third on the all-time list in rushing for the franchise, behind only Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett. He is also the league’s second-leading active rusher, behind Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans. Despite the mutual agreement to part ways, the Cowboys have expressed gratitude and respect for Elliott, with Jones emphasizing the running back’s special place in the Cowboys family.

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