Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith tore into the NFL’s way of doing business on Thursday. Commenting on an Instagram post from the Cowboys bidding farewell to running back Ezekiel Elliott, Smith let his feelings be known.
The post, a picture of Elliott with a Cowboys jersey on draft night, noted the memories from his time in Dallas will be cherished. Smith cut against that idea in his comment tirade.
“Wow, this is amazing to me—no disrespect to Malik Davis. Our starting running back is gone, and his backup has a broken leg? the NFL stands for not for long,” Smith wrote.
He continued: “Everyone else, go get your money because they have no love for you. It don’t make sense and this is one of those things that make you shack your head. Thank you Z for giving everything you have including plan injured all of last year. This is why, the NFL stands for not the law. Everybody else go get your money because they have no love for you.”
Releasing Elliott makes sense from a salary cap standpoint and also, probably, from an on-field perspective, too. But the move was never going to be very popular with fans. And it’s clearly not popular with Smith.
Smith wasn’t the lone Cowboy to sound off on Elliott’s release
Since the new broke that Elliott would be released, a pair of Cowboys quarterbacks commented. Current quarterback Dak Prescott — a long time teammate with Elliott — and former Cowboy Troy Aikman expressed their appreciation.
Elliott has played a big role in the Cowboys’ offense since the team picked him with the fourth overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. In some regard, it’s the end of an era in Dallas.
“I’m a big fan of Zeke’s. And, I think, regardless of what anyone’s opinion is of him as far as what he was able to do as a running back, I think they’re going to miss one of the real core players in that locker room,” Aikman told reporters. “I always felt, when I was playing, there are guys you just can’t replace. … I really believe Zeke is one of those guys. And I’m not alone. I think the Cowboys understand that, as well.”
Elliott was set to make $10.9 million this season for the Cowboys. Rather than attempt to renegotiate a pay-cut with the running back, the two sides parted ways.
“Zeke’s a guy that, man, he played this game, did everything about this game the right way,” Prescott said. “Had fun, but when it was time to lock in, when it was time to focus and give everything you have … Zeke was the guy to follow. … I can’t imagine him not in the locker room.”