After months of rumors, Ezekiel Elliott’s tenure with the Dallas Cowboys appears to be coming to a close. Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill reported that the Cowboys plan to “part ways” with Elliott paving the way for the veteran running back to find a new team in the coming months.
“The Ezekiel Elliott era appears to be over in Dallas,” Hill wrote on March 15, 2023. “Per a source close to the situation, the Cowboys are set to part ways with the two-time NFL rushing champ and the running back is preparing to start fresh with a new team. The move could come as soon as Wednesday afternoon when the league’s 2023 calendar officially begins at 3 p.m. and teams are required to be under the salary cap.”
The Cowboys Were Pushing Ezekiel Elliott to Take a ‘Massive’ Pay Cut, Says Insider
Elliott still has four seasons remaining on a six-year, $90 million contract and is slated to have a $10.9 million salary. With the Cowboys placing the franchise tag on Tony Pollard, it is unrealistic for Dallas to spend more than $20 million on the running back position heading into 2023.
According to Over the Cap, the Cowboys would take an $11.8 million dead cap hit by releasing the star, but the number drops to $5.8 million if the franchise waits until after June 1. Heavy Sports NFL insider Matt Lombardo reported that things were expected to come to a head with Elliott’s potential unwillingness to take a “massive” pay cut the Cowboys were pushing.
“The Dallas Cowboys could be on the verge of giving Ezekiel Elliott an ultimatum, as the franchise and running back appear locked in a stare-down as the offseason begins,” Lombardo reported on February 16. “According to multiple league sources familiar with the running back market, I’m told the Cowboys are poised to ask Elliott to take a ‘massive pay cut’ in order to stay with the team.”
“…That pay cut is expected to be massive, with one source telling me he isn’t certain Elliott will take it.”