Cowboys Contemplating Ezekiel Elliott Reunion

A report from last month indicated a mutual interest existed between the Cowboys and running back Ezekiel Elliott. On the eve of the draft, Dallas’ actions continue to point in that direction.

CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reports the Cowboys are currently meeting with Elliott’s agent. The two-time rushing champion has been linked to a new Dallas deal, and no known interest has been shown by other teams to date. Like many veterans, Elliott will likely have to wait until the post-draft wave of free agency to find an agreement.

As Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News notes, today’s conversations constitute nothing more than the parties “just talking.” Taking this one step further, his colleague David Moore adds the Cowboys merely touched base with Elliott and informed him they will “check back” after seeing how the draft unfolds.

As expected, Tony Pollard departed in free agency after playing out the 2023 season on the franchise tag. Elliott’s replacement as lead back joined the Titans, leaving Dallas short on experience at the RB spot. While Royce Freeman has since been added, the Cowboys remain frequently linked to drafting a back relatively early in the upcoming draft. Texas alum Jonathon Brooks in particular is often labeled as a potential Dallas target (likely in the second round).

Elliott spent his first seven seasons in Dallas, proving to be one of the league’s premier workhorse backs early on. He saw his efficiency drop over time, though, and it came as no surprise when he was cut last offseason. That led to a one-year Patriots agreement, and Elliott played a rotational role in New England’s low-powered offense. Logging a career-low 184 carries, the 28-year-old posted 642 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

That 3.5 yards per attempt average was the worst mark of Elliott’s career, although the Patriots’ offensive line and options at the other skill positions were not among the league’s strongest in 2023. A return to Dallas would likely represent an upgrade in both regards, and the absence of Pollard could result in a notable workload.

Still, the Ohio State alum’s underwhelming production (he last topped 4.0 yards per carry in 2021) in recent years will no doubt hurt his market value for the second straight offseason. Even with Elliott back in the fold, the Cowboys would be well-served to make a multi-year investment in the backfield over the course of the weekend. It will be interesting to see if today’s summit produces continued interest between team and player regarding a post-draft agreement.

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