HOF RB criticizes Cowboys, NFL over Ezekiel Elliott release2 min read
The Dallas Cowboys broke up with three-time Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott earlier this week, seven years after selecting him with the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith took to social media recently to criticize the move.
With his career in Dallas now (most likely) over, Zeke leaves as the franchise’s third-leading rusher at 8,262 yards. Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett is second on the Cowboys all-time rushing list with 12,036 yards, while Smith is at the top of both Dallas’ list (17,162) and the NFL leaderboard (18,355).
Elliott also ranks only behind Smith and Dorsett with his 68 rushing scores with the organization.
With Zeke being two years Tony Pollard’s senior, and up-and-coming back Malik Davis showing promise in 2022, Elliott’s release wasn’t a surprising move. In 15 games last season, the 27-year-old Ohio St. product set career lows in rushing attempts (231), rushing yards (876), yards per carry (3.8), targets (23), receptions (17) and receiving yards (92), while failing to record a receiving touchdown for the first time in his seven NFL seasons.
Elliott’s official release will eventually save the team $10.9 million as a post-June 1 designated cut.
During the Cowboys’ NFC divisional-round loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Pollard suffered a high-ankle sprain and fractured fibula and eventually underwent surgery. He was clearly the back with more burst all season though and was given the franchise tag earlier this month.
The Cowboys could opt to roll with Davis as Pollard’s backup (or starter if the latter’s recovery is delayed), but Dallas could also take a look at adding running back depth via April’s NFL Draft.