HomeSportsNFLESPN predicts running back Ezekiel Elliott will re-sign with Dallas Cowboys for 2023

ESPN predicts running back Ezekiel Elliott will re-sign with Dallas Cowboys for 2023

by Nikki Chavanelle
ezekiel elliott
Michael Owens/Getty Images

Two months following his release from the Dallas Cowboys, running back Ezekiel Elliott is still on the open market. His availability led ESPN reporter Bill Barnwell to make a bold prediction about where the former league-leading rusher will land for 2023.

Instead of finding a new home, Barnwell predicted that Elliott will return to the Cowboys. However, he’ll do it for significantly less money.

“For a Cowboys team that already had plenty of hesitation about featuring (Tony) Pollard for more than 30 snaps per game, bringing back Elliott on a cheaper deal would provide security at one of the team’s thinnest positions,” Barnwell wrote. “Pollard is still recovering from the fractured left fibula he suffered during the postseason, so if the Cowboys don’t want to rush him back into the lineup in September, Elliott’s ability to pass protect and run effectively between the tackles would be a plus for coach Mike McCarthy.

“If Elliott — who ran for 876 yards and 12 TDs last season — is not going to land a deal for more than $5 million somewhere else, why not stay home in Dallas?”

The Cowboys released Elliott this offseason after seven seasons with the team. The former Ohio State star led the Dallas rushing attack in every season that he played except in 2022. Pollard overtook Elliott and posted his first 1,000-yard rushing season, earning his first Pro Bowl nod as well.

Elliott linked to Buccaneers

Dallas is forging ahead with Tony Pollard after placing the 2023 franchise tag on the former Memphis standout. However, it seems there’s still a path back to AT&T Stadium for Elliott at this point.

They didn’t draft a running back high, instead landing on Deuce Vaughn from Kansas State in the sixth round. Even with the addition of Ronald Jones, if Pollard’s recovery progress doesn’t look good this offseason, it would make sense for the Cowboys to add Elliott back to the mix.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported last week that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could potentially sign Elliott as a No. 2 running back to pair with Rachaad White.

However, Fowler also shared that Elliott making a return to the Cowboys instead of signing with a new team is “still an option.” Team owner Jerry Jones made it clear this offseason that the team hasn’t fully closed the door on the possibility. He also said he didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up.

As a free agent, Elliott is free to sign with a new team at any time. With team OTAs beginning in a week, it would be ideal for him to sign within the next few days.

In 2022, Elliott was playing on his six-year, $90 million deal that he signed in September of 2019. At the time, it was the largest deal signed by a running back.