Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is in danger of being on the chopping block this offseason no matter what Jerry Jones says. Here’s where he could land in 2023.
Even the owner of the most valuable franchise in the NFL can’t have his cake and eat it, too. The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly placing a franchise tag on running back Tony Pollard in a move that has serious implications for Ezekiel Elliott’s future on the team.
If the Cowboys want to keep Elliott, they will have to pour in around $20 million dollars in their running back room — and that’s assuming Elliott restructures his current deal.
As much as Jerry Jones and the Cowboys fanbase loves Zeke, it’s just financially irresponsible to spend that kind of money on one of the league’s most injury-prone positions.
Dallas could save about $11 million against the cap if the team designates Elliott as a post-June1 cut or trade candidate. Where could the 2016 first-rounder end up this offseason?
Here’s a look at five potential landing spots around the league.
Ezekiel Elliott rumors: 5 best landing spots if Cowboys cut RB
5. Atlanta Falcons
Let’s start with the team that has the most cap space on this list. The Atlanta Falcons are widely rumored to be in the running for Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson if Jackson becomes available, but they could also go to bat for Elliott to totally revolutionize their game on the ground.
At the running back position, the Falcons invested a late-round 2022 pick in Tyler Allgeier and have a versatile talent in Cordarrelle Patterson along with a few other bodies. Patterson was limited to 13 games last season due to injury and poses more as a Swiss Army talent rather than a true workhorse back, and Allgeier may not be ready to take the reins yet.
Elliott would give Atlanta a starting-caliber No. 1 running back to serve as the team’s engine on the ground, bailing the offense out whenever Desmond Ridder or *insert middling quarterback here* under center starts to get flustered.
Many years removed from his 1,600-plus yard rushing rookie season on the Cowboys, Elliott still has the legs and resilience (he’s played in 15 or more games in six of his seven NFL seasons) to get the job done.