It's not yet official, but it sounds like the Ezekiel Elliott era in Dallas is over.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's long-time Cowboys beat writer Clarence Hill Jr. is reporting Wednesday that Dallas is expected to cut Elliott shortly after the NFL's new league year begins.
Elliott signed a mammoth six-year, $90 million contract extension with $50 million guaranteed back in 2019, an absolutely insane decision from Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones given the state of the running back position in the modern NFL.
And then Elliott promptly fell off a cliff, production-wise. In Elliott's first four seasons with the Cowboys he averaged 4.6 yards per attempt and 96.5 yards per game. In the three years since signing that extension he's averaged 4.0 yards per attempt and 60.8 yards per game. That's a rough look, Jerry!
After the Cowboys used the franchise tag on running back Tony Pollard earlier this offseason, it seemed like the organization would have to do something with Elliott to get off his money: no NFL team in its right mind could afford to spend over $27 million on two running backs. The Cowboys also have second-year running back Malik Davis on the roster.
Cutting Elliott now saves Dallas roughly $5 million against the cap, though they'll have to eat about $11 million in dead cap. If the Cowboys designate the move a post-June 1 release they can spread that cap hit out across the 2023 and 2024 cap tables.
Elliott turns 28 before next season begins, and will likely land somewhere with a chance to be a RB1 option albeit for significantly less money.
Just another deft, forward-thinking success story by the one and only Jerry Jones.