Rams Among Top 10 Favorites to Land Ex-Cowboys 1st Rounder

The Los Angeles Rams had a rather muffled free agency start to the 2023 cycle — un-Rams like in the era of Les Snead as general manager and Sean McVay as head coach.

But with one former high draft pick available and a new week ahead, the Rams are listed among the top 10 betting favorites to land a recently ousted member of the Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott.

Per Sportsline, the Rams are sitting at +1700 — giving them the 10th best odds at acquiring the three-time Pro Bowler and former fourth round overall pick who was released by Dallas in a salary cap move. The Rams are currently ahead of the Chicago Bears, who have been among the most aggressive spenders and movers for this free agency period.

The favorite to land him, though, is the L.A. Chargers…who now have Elliott’s former offensive coordinator Kellen Moore running the offense there and are dealing with Austin Ekeler asking for a trade.

Cowboys Legend Rips Dallas for Move

One Dallas legend didn’t mince words with how Elliott was handled during this free agency period.

NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith ripped the franchise he helped bring three Super Bowls to during the mid 1990s. Smith took to Instagram to rip the Cowboys on their IG page.

“Wow, this is amazing to me — no disrespect to Malik Davis. Our starting running back is gone, and his backup has a broken leg?” Smith said. “The NFL stands for not for long. Everyone else, go get your money because they have no love for you.”

Emmitt Smith commented on a Dallas Cowboys Instagram post that was acknowledging Ezekiel Elliott’s career and was clearly upset about the decision to release him.

“This is why, the NFL stands for not the law. Everybody else go get your money because they have no love for you.” pic.twitter.com/cYOXtRjqBL

— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) March 17, 2023

Elliott delivered a direct impact right away coming out of Ohio State. He immediately earned his first Pro Bowl and got an All-Pro nod by rumbling his way to 1,631 yards and scoring 15 touchdowns. He went on to become the Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writer’s Association.

From there, Elliott went on to post three more 1,000-yard campaigns and earned two more Pro Bowls in 2018 and 2019. His last campaign of crossing the century mark was the 2021 season, which saw him hit 1,002 yards.

Per Pro Football Reference, Elliott ends his Dallas chapter with 8,262 rushing yards and scored 68 touchdowns. He also added versatility with 305 receptions and 2,336 receiving yards with 12 more touchdowns.

Does ‘Zeke’ Fit the ‘Rams House?’ And at a Least Expensive Value?

Now, as he heads toward 28, Elliott is now being perceived as a running back who’ll have a lesser market compared to recent free agency periods. He’s not expected to sign a similar deal to the six-year, $90 million contract he once had with the Cowboys.

He could be in a situation where he can provide a veteran presence while also not breaking the bank financially. That could greatly help a Rams team that’s in a financial pickle — hence why they haven’t signed blockbuster deals with anyone once the 2023 calendar year began. And, per Over the Cap, the Rams have spent the second fewest amount of money on free agent contracts among NFL teams at just $4.75 million. Only the Green Bay Packers have spent fewer.

In the Rams’ backfield, L.A. received rejuvenated play from Cam Akers toward the end of the 2022 season including ending the year with three straight 100-yard games. Akers, though, is lacking depth and experience behind him as the Rams only have 2022 rookies Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers currently. Malcolm Brown became a free agent after the season while the team released Darrell Henderson during the season.

What the Rams have lacked is a consistent battering ram on short-yardage and goal line situations. Given Elliott’s age and past history of being a bruising back, he’d be ideal for this role under McVay and new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.

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