Cowboys Warned Against Reunion With Fan-Favorite Ex-Pro Bowler - Sport News

Cowboys Warned Against Reunion With Fan-Favorite Ex-Pro Bowler

Just as soon as the news that a potential reunion between the Cowboys and former star running back Ezekiel Elliott might yet be nigh, we get a reminder that such a remarriage might not be that great an idea. Yes, in an offseason in which the team has done little but gone backward and set itself up for a turbulent future, re-hiring Elliott would give Dallas a much-needed feel-good moment.

But it would be brief, because bringing back Elliott would mean a grim short-term future for the Cowboys running back spot. If he signs on, the Cowboys would have to play him. And if they play him, they would most certainly be reminded of the reason they sent him packing at this time last year in the first place.

That’s the gist of the warning from the SB Nation site, “Blogging the Boys,” in an article by analyst LP Cruz titled, “Cowboys free agents: 2 big reasons why the Cowboys should not re-sign Ezekiel Elliott.”

Cowboys Might Insist on Playing Beloved Star

Let’s start by getting into the two aforementioned reasons. First, Cruz points out that when the Cowboys last brought back a franchise hero—Jason Witten—the team tried to force production out of him, even though there weas clearly little left in his tank.

That could well happen again with Elliott, who has as sterling a resume as a Cowboys running back as just about any in franchise history. He led the league in rushing as a rookie, and again in his third season, and led the NFL in yards per game for his first three years, at 108.7 yards, 98.3 and 95.6. He scored 68 touchdowns in seven seasons.

Elliott has three Pro Bowls and one first-team All-Pro selection to his credit.

With his track record, the Cowboys would not sign Elliott to be a spectator. He would sign on to play and would sap the life out of whatever rebuilding of the running back room the Cowboys want to do.

“If Elliott were still on the team, the team would insist upon making Elliott the lead runner due to what he has done for the franchise and his durability throughout the years, never being unavailable long enough to give the team a serious look at any other options on the roster. … Jerry will stick by his made men no matter the team’s expense, and that cannot benefit the Cowboys if Elliott returns,” Cruz wrote.

Ezekiel Elliott Has Lost a Step (or Two)

But as so often happens with NFL running backs, Elliott flamed out under the weight of his early workload. He had four great seasons to start his career, but he declined precipitously after that. By his final season in Dallas, in 2022, he tallied 58.4 yards per game and a career-low 3.8 yards per carry.

He got another shot with the Patriots last year, but his yards-per-carry dropped to just 3.5 in New England last season. And that’s the other reason not to sign Elliott: He’s just not good anymore.

Wrote Cruz: “When you watch Elliott play, you can see the lack of consistent explosiveness. Furthermore, elusiveness has also been a point of discussion. According to playerprofiler.com, the stats don’t reflect well for Elliott. In 2023, he had a juke rate of 15.3% (#42), just one breakaway run, and perhaps most damning, and expected points added of -55.3 (150th), and last year with the New England Patriots, Elliott had his worst production per carry with a mere 3.5 yards per rush.

“The lack of explosiveness, elusiveness, and speed make Elliott an unappealing option.”

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