HomeSportsNFLSkip Bayless Gives Brutally Honest Assessment on Ezekiel Elliott Following Release From Cowboys

Skip Bayless Gives Brutally Honest Assessment on Ezekiel Elliott Following Release From Cowboys

by Suzanne Halliburton
ezekiel elliott
Sam Hodde/Getty Images

Skip Bayless admitted that Ezekiel Elliott’s rookie season made him “swoon.” But the day after the Cowboys released the tailback, he conceded he probably over reacted to all of it.

Lots of Dallas fans were sad to see Elliott get cut. It was a dark day in Cowboys history. But they also understood the financials. No team can afford to pay a player top NFL dollars if said player isn’t even first team on the depth chart. As Skip Bayless pointed out, the Cowboys were paying Ezekiel Elliott based on his production from 2016 and 2018.

So, if you want to figure out why this unfolded in spring, 2023, go back to summer, 2019. That’s when Zeke and the Cowboys were at odds over a new contract. Let the memories of this Fox Sports personality tell the story.

“He goes to Cabo and he’s running in the sand,” Skip Bayless says of Ezekiel Elliott. “All the sudden, Jerry (Jones) caves in just before the season started and says ‘I’ll give him his money.’ Made him the highest-paid running back in pro football because he had earned it.

“But as you well know, with NFL contracts it can’t be what you’ve earned, it must be what you will do for said team. Unfortunately, from that moment on … it was a meteoric fall. In my career, I have never seen a running back hit the wall even harder than he used to hit the hole.”

Bayless shared the video clip and added “He got his money and he hit the wall.”

Most Thought Cowboys Would Keep Zeke, But Restructure Contract

The Cowboys released Elliott, Wednesday. It was a somewhat surprising move. Most thought that owner Jerry Jones would try to rework Elliott’s contract. Dallas already had placed a $10.2 million franchise tag on Tony Pollard. But the Cowboys couldn’t afford to keep Zeke and his nearly $17 million salary.

Jones released a statement after news broke about Elliott’s release. He called it the best decision.

“We have mutually agreed with Zeke that the best decision for everyone is that he will be able to experience free agency. And we can increase our flexibility and options. Zeke’s impact and influence is seared into the Cowboys franchise in a very special and indelible way.”

After Ezekiel Elliott struggled this fall, Skip Bayless said he’d never seen a running back hit the wall harder than he used to hit a hole. (Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Skip Bayless Said Ezekiel Elliott Was Real MVP of 2016 Season

Skip Bayless allowed the Ezekiel Elliott news soak in, then talked about the tailback’s perfect rookie season. He was the running back “who owned college football,” when he played for Ohio State.

“That same guy stepped right into the NFL and took it over,” Bayless said. “He was the best. You can argue he was the MVP that year, he was the best.”

Bayless said that Elliott’s performance also impacted his opinion of quarterback Dak Prescott.

“What he did his rookie year made me swoon. I was rapturous,” Bayless said. “I must admit in 20/20 hindsight, it camouflaged Dak his rookie year. Cause it made Dak a little better than Dak ever was going to be.”

Now Elliott is looking for a new team. On Saturday, the Bills emerged as a potential new spot. Maybe Tampa, New Orleans or the Chargers take a look at Elliott. But teams will look to pay what Zeke is worth on today’s market, not what he did in 2016.