The Dallas owner shared why the franchise decided to part ways with the three-time Pro Bowl running back.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones released a team statement Wednesday explaining the rationale behind the franchise’s decision to part ways with running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Jones wrote that the Cowboys’ release of Elliott was a mutual decision “that was best for everyone” and that it would allow the three-time Pro Bowler to experience free agency while giving Dallas the chance to increase its “flexibility and options.”
“This is one of the toughest parts of operating a team,” Jones wrote. “Moments like this come, and extremely difficult decisions and choices are made. …We will always have a special place and love for Zeke & what he means to our Cowboys family, both as a person and a player. That will never change.”
Prior to Elliott’s release, the franchise explored multiple options to retain him, including the possibility of the 27-year-old taking a pay cut, according to The Dallas Morning News. Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Dallas will carry a $16.2 million cap charge until Elliott is officially released and will take on $5.82 million of dead cap space in 2023 and $6.04 million in ’24.
Elliott, who led the league in rushing in 2016 and ’18, was drafted by Dallas at No. 4 in the ’16 NFL draft. He rushed for 876 yards on 231 carries last season. In seven seasons, he has totaled 8,262 rushing yards, 2,186 receiving yards and 80 touchdowns