The Dallas Cowboys made the difficult decision to release Ezekiel Elliott on Wednesday. While Elliott is free to negotiate with any team, the $10.9 million in cap savings from the move won’t come into play until the first of June.
It’s an emotional time for Cowboys fans, but one that most saw coming.
Some argued whether Jerry Jones could separate his relationship with and fondness of Elliott for the betterment of the team.
The owner penned a lengthy statement thanking Elliott for representing the Star with “pride and purpose” and saying his “impact and influence is seared into the franchise in a very special and indelible way.”
While a classy act from Jones, it’s time for everyone to push forward. After all, there’s still months to go in the offseason, and the Cowboys roster, though in better shape than it was when free agency started, still has some holes.
Wide receiver and defensive tackle come to mind, but there’s one obvious mistake Jones must circumvent in light of Zeke’s departure.
Cowboys shouldn’t sign another running back after releasing Ezekiel Elliott
Dan Orlovsky really likes making an enemy of Cowboys fans, huh? His Dak Prescott criticism is one thing (he infamously thought Carson Wentz was better back in the day), but advocating for Dallas to splurge on a RB the second after they finally ditched Elliott’s contract is either awful analysis or high-class trolling.
Either way, the Cowboys simply cannot do this. They already have $10.01 million committed to Tony Pollard via the franchise tag.
Orlovsky’s preferred target, Jamaal Williams, inked a three-year, $12 million contract with the Saints after a career year in Detroit. The deal includes $8 million fully guaranteed. While not big-time money, it’s a really solid deal for a 27-year-old back, and it’s far more expensive than what the Cowboys should even think about doling out to another back.
The right course of action would be to wait until the draft.
Taking Texas phenom Bijan Robinson in the first round would drive some fans up a wall, but you can make a stronger argument for it now that Dallas bolstered the CB room in the form of Stephon Gilmore. A back in the second or third round would be our preferred choice, but beggars can’t be choosers.
As long as Jones doesn’t sign a free agent in the immediate aftermath of Elliott’s release. That’s all that matters. If the front office wants to circle back to the free agent market post-draft, be our guest. The running back market is incredibly deep this year, so someone like Damien Harris, D’Ernest Johnson, or Leonard Fournette could still be available.
Whatever the case, it would be in the Cowboys’ best interest to hold off on signing a Zeke replacement until after the draft.
In a perfect world, that player is acquired through the draft itself and they don’t even have to entertain scouring the market.