Longtime Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott signs one-year deal with Patriots

Ezekiel Elliott is officially a member of the New England Patriots.
Dallas Cowboys v New England Patriots
Dallas Cowboys v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

At long last, Ezekiel Elliott's free agency is over.

Following a successful free agent visit with the Patriots, the former Dallas Cowboys running back inked a one-year, $6 million deal with New England, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

In an interesting twist -- and one Zeke hinted at on social media earlier this offseason -- Elliott will ditch his No. 21 jersey for No. 15, which he donned at Ohio State.

Former Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott signs one-year deal with Patriots

As cool as it would've been to see Elliott join a contender, his options were limited amid a declining (plummeted) running back market.

The Patriots are a great landing spot, as he gets to play under arguably the greatest head coach in NFL history in Bill Belichick and serve as the team's short-yardage specialist behind starter Rhamondre Stevenson.

How much of Elliott's $6 million base salary is fully guaranteed remains to be seen, but all in all it's a solid deal for the two-time rushing champ.

For the Cowboys, this confirms they'll move forward with Tony Pollard as RB1 and will entrust either Rico Dowdle and Malik Davis as the backup.

If neither player impresses over the remainder of camp and preseason, perhaps then Dallas will peruse the market for a veteran. No matter what Jerry Jones told the media, a Zeke reunion never piqued the team's interest.

Elliott didn't have a fairytale ending with the Cowboys, but that seldom happens in the league, especially for running backs.

Over seven seasons in Dallas, Elliott racked up 8,262 rushing yards and 68 touchdowns, both of which rank third in franchise history. He's also fifth in team history in scrimmage yards, was a three-time Pro Bowler, a two-time rushing champ and finished third in MVP voting as a rookie in 2016.

Elliott is a Cowboys legend in every sense of the word and that's how he'll be remembered. Best of luck in New England, Zeke!

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