Dallas Cowboys Expected to Retain Running Back Elliot

The Dallas Cowboys will likely hold onto their longtime running back for at least one more season. Per the Athletic's Bob Strum, the Cowboys are Ezekiel Elliot's best bet to land a contract above the league minimum, and he is therefore expected to return at a more team-friendly number.

Ezekiel averaged career worsts in rushing yards per game (58.4) and rushing yards per attempt (3.8) in the 2022 season. Per overthecap, he currently sports a completely untenable $16.72 million cap hit for the 2023 season. The Cowboys would only clear up $4.86 million by cutting him before June 1st, so it makes sense for the two parties to play ball.

Elliot has yet to turn 28 years old but has appeared in steep decline since about 2020. He was once arguably the league's best back: he averaged 96.5 rushing yards per game across his first four seasons and even led the league in total rushing twice, including in his All-Pro rookie season. Since that incredible start, his efficiency has plummeted: he averaged 4.6 yards per attempt and 6.7 yards per target across his first 56 appearances compared to 4.0 yards per attempt and 4.5 yards per target in his past 47 appearances.

Despite his struggles, Elliot was a useful complement to Tony Pollard in 2022: the Cowboys finished the season with the ninth-most rushing yards in the league and scored the fourth-most points. If his relationship with the Cowboys is in a good place, there's no reason the two parties can't work something out for 2023.

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