Dak Prescott reacts to Ezekiel Elliott’s ‘tough’ exit from Dallas
When the Dallas Cowboys take the field next fall for the start of the 2023 season, they’ll do so without running back Ezekiel Elliott, whom the team plans to release this offseason.
On Thursday, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott spoke to Jon Machota of The Athletic about moving on without Elliott, with whom he’s shared the field through all seven seasons of his NFL career.
“It’s tough. I am playing a game with a brother. Being able to start our NFL careers and share so many memories. Grow up as men with this organization. I really can’t imagine taking the field without him. I don’t know if it has completely hit me yet. Obviously, I’ve talked to him. I’m hurt. I am sure he is. But it’s more important for me to be able to support him.”
Prescott said he’s hurt that Elliott won’t be back with the Cowboys next season but added that he’s the running back’s No. 1 supporter, “no matter what.”
Elliott’s decline and hefty contract, coupled with Tony Pollard’s emergence, spelled doom for the former No. 4 overall pick. Once the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Pollard, paying him $10.1 million for 2023, Elliott’s exit was all but assured.
A year removed from his fourth-career 1,000-yard season, Elliott’s play spiraled last season. Despite scoring 12 rushing touchdowns in 2022, Elliott posted career lows in carries (231), yards (876), yards per carry (3.8) and yards per game (58.4). Meanwhile, Pollard overtook Elliott for lead-back duties en route to a breakout campaign, which saw him rush for 1,007 yards and nine scores.
The Cowboys will likely designate Elliott as a pre-June 1 cut, saving the team $10.9 million.
As for suitors on the open market, Elliott should have several. While no longer the Pro Bowl-caliber back he was three seasons ago, Elliott has proved he’s still impactful in short-yardage or goal-line situations.
Some potential landing spots for Elliott include the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.