Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot is coming off an injury-plagued 2021-22 NFL campaign. Although he gritted his teeth and played through it, the 26-year-old was noticeably hobbled for much of the season.
After the Cowboys got bounced in the Wild Card game, Elliot revealed that he had been playing with a partially torn PCL that he originally suffered back in Week 4 against the Carolina Panthers.
Elliot’s production has been on the decline for years now, and while his injury adds some additional context to what happened last season, it doesn’t change the trajectory he has been on.
Dallas finds itself in a unique situation as it pertains to Elliot right now. The team has two options. First and foremost, it could simply release its star running back after the 2022 season and take a $11.86 million dead cap hit. The other alternative is to rework Elliot’s deal so that his cap hit going forward is reduced.
Either one of those scenarios would have massive ramifications for Elliot’s check book.
This week, in a conversation with the media, Elliot got brutally honest about his Cowboys future.
“I mean, I control what I can control,” he said, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “I focus on what’s in the near future. I’m not really worried about what’s going to be going on after next season unless we’re going on to winning the Super Bowl.”
It’s hard not to read that as acknowledgement that his time in Dallas is coming to an end.
A lot of factors have gone into Elliot’s decline: bad play-calling, poor blocking an increased reliance on Dak Prescott, etc. But none of them change the end result – a decline has in fact occurred.
Katya Elise Henry exposes Tyler Herro’s cheating ways. https://t.co/Y3t6dXWVBA
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 4, 2022
This is just par for the course.
Will Elliot be able to return to his All-Pro form and salvage his time in Dallas?
Time will tell.