“Sacrificing His Unhealed Body”: Ex-QB Makes Case for Dallas Cowboys to Retain ‘Overrated’ Star Who May Be Leaving

Published 02/23/2023, 2:40 PM EST

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The Dallas Cowboys are preparing for their 28th season without a Lombardi. However, there are a couple of obstacles in the way. Like their negative cap space ahead of the free agency and 2023 draft. Running back Ezekiel Elliott is a likely candidate to face the axe and one former Cowboys wide receiver strongly disagrees.

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After possibly having the worst season of his seven-year career with the star on his helmet, and with the added financial aspect, Elliott could be at a premature end to his journey at Arlington. Unless he pays attention to Dez Bryant.

The Ezekiel Elliott situation

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Elliott made running back history back in 2019 when he signed a six-year $90 million contract with $50 million guaranteed overall, and $28 million fully. He also has the second-highest cap hit in the league for an RB ($16.72 million) with an $11.86 million dead cap figure. If the Cowboys release him before June 1, they will save $4.86 million in cap space. If they don’t, that’ll be a full $16 million for Ezekiel. However, his performance has taken a drastic drop this season.

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The 876 rushing yards with a 3.8 average yards per attempt and 17 receptions over 92 yards are career-low numbers for the about-to-be 28-year-old RB. This after 1631 rushing yards in his rookie season and three more thousand-yard seasons is a steep drop in expectations. However, Ezekiel, despite not missing any games, has had to deal with a bad right knee throughout the season.

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Dez Bryant is not ready to see Elliott leave America’s Team.

How can all scouts and analysts agree with this? Zeke’s aunts gotta tell me s—- for me to know he was sacrificing his unhealed body to give the Cowboys the best chance to win games playing whatever role. But if you are going to talk about his game declining, make sure you talk about how badly injured he was. Make it make sense,” Bryant’s response read.

Can Tony Pollard do the job for the Dallas Cowboys?

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However, his present form and heavy contract aren’t the only factors why Zeke’s place in the roster is under threat. Tony Pollard stepped up to the main stage with a 1000-yard season of rushing and his 5.2 yards per attempt is the third-highest among RBs in the league. And Jerry Jones is very close to placing the franchise tag on him, despite the injury in Dallas’ last game of the season.

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Pollard also made the Pro Bowl, something Elliott hasn’t done since 2019, since signing the new deal. Also, the Dallas Cowboys can lock young Tony Pollard for less. And the only way Elliott can fit into the entire scheme is if he is willing to take a significant pay cut. And he said he is.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Jonathan Owen’s future wife Simone Biles can relate to Dallas Cowboys linebacker going through social anxiety

I definitely want to be here,” Elliot addressed the media after the Cowboys lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round playoff game this year.

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Written by:

Soumyapriyo Ganguly

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Soumyapriyo Ganguly is an NFL writer at Essentially Sports. He holds a degree in Economics and Statistics from the Indian School of Business and Finance. Rivu is a sports nerd with his favorites being Soccer, American Football, Basketball, UFC, and Formula 1.
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Edited by:

Arijit Saha

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