Ezekiel Elliott remains a free agent. Since the Dallas Cowboys released the Pro Bowl running back, there’s been a lot of speculation regarding a potential landing spot. One NFL insider believes there’s a specific team where Zeke could thrive.
Tampa Bay insider Rick Stroud says there would be a defined role for Elliott out of the Buccaneers backfield. He explained why the three-time Pro Bowler would fit in with the roster.
“I think there is a role for him on this roster because they’ve got Rachaad White, who is going to be their RB1,” Stroud told 92.9 The Game. “He’s a bigger guy, explosive, they’re really excited to see what he can do – especially when (Dave) Canales puts a more outside zone running scheme there.
“After that, they’ve got a bunch of guys who are sort of third down backs, whether it’s Chase Edmonds or KE’Shawn Vaughn. What they really could use though is a short-yardage guy and a guy that has the veteran experience.
“They lost Leonard Fournette … but when you think about what Zeke is now, he can do everything. He’s a ferocious blocker, he’s good in short yardage, and his numbers are down simply because he’s not going to get the carries and the attempts, but he still had (12) touchdowns last year.”
Elliott isn’t quite the prospect he once was carrying the football, but he’s still proving to be a threat. In addition to the 12 touchdowns last season, he totaled 876 yards on 231 carries for the Cowboys.
A lot of teams could use a veteran back like Elliott on the roster. Will Tampa Bay be the one that strikes a deal?
Could Ezekiel Elliott actually return to Dallas?
As strange as it sounds, there’s still a chance Elliott returns to Dallas in the 2023 season. The team released the running back and placed a franchise tag on Tony Pollard to solidify the backfield earlier this offseason.
On the surface, it appeared the team moved on from Zeke. But team owner Jerry Jones says anything is possible — and if it makes sense, the Cowboys would welcome back the running back.
“The ship hasn’t sailed there,” Jones said. “We haven’t made a decision at all. As far as our interest in Zeke, nothing we did today changes that. I haven’t ruled out Zeke.”
Through the 2022 season, Elliott has spent his entire career with the Cowboys. In seven seasons in Dallas, the former Ohio State standout has rushed for 8,262 yards and 68 touchdowns. Additionally, Zeke has piled up 2,336 receiving yards and reached the end zone an additional 12 times.
Elliott is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time NFL rushing yards leader.
Maybe his role would be diminished in Dallas’ new offensive scheme, but he’s still proving to be a quality ball carrier at this stage in his career.