News broke on Wednesday morning that the Dallas Cowboys are poised to make a huge roster cut and will close out a significant era of Cowboys’ football.
This is a major move that I think many saw coming. According to Clarence Hill Jr, the Cowboys are prepared to release former first round running back and NFL rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott.
Elliott was taken with the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and instantly broke out, leading the league in rushes, yards, and yards per game. He and Dak Prescott both came in the league in 2016 and saw instant success.
Elliott slowly but surely declined as a runner but still managed to be effective for the most part. He averaged over 95 yards per game over his first three years in the NFL.
The decline as a runner began in 2019 where he averaged 4.5 yards per carry and 84.8 yards per game.
In 2020, he averaged 4.0 yards per carry and rushed for less than 1,000 yards. In 2021, he only averaged 4.2 yards per carry and barely broke 1,000 rushing yards, and was essentially eclipsed on the depth chart this year by Tony Pollard. Zeke averaged less than four yards per carry in 2022 and managed a career low 876 rushing yards but still found the endzone 12 times.
He’ll be just 28 this summer and looks set to hit 10,000 career rushing yards within the next few seasons.
Elliott was one of the very best in the NFL for years but unfortunately hit the all too common wall that running backs do.
However, Elliott seemed to hit his peak very early in his career and the decline that he’s endured seems to be a year or two early from other players.
This clears the way for Tony Pollard to take over the RB1 duties in Dallas, and that’s the way it should be.
An obvious fit for Ezekiel Elliott when he does get cut is the Los Angeles Chargers who are now employing his former offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore.