Cowboys subtly reveal Stephon Gilmore's fate with new wrinkle in Ezekiel Elliott move

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Editor's note: The Cowboys have announced that Ezekiel Elliott has switched to jersey No. 15 for the 2024 season, meaning he will not take Stephon Gilmore's No. 21.

The Dallas Cowboys are getting the band back together. Well, sort of. On Monday they agreed to terms with running back Ezekiel Elliott and former linebacker Damien Wilson. While Wilson will have to fight to make the 53-man roster, Elliott checks in atop the running back depth chart.

After passing his physical Elliott officially signed his one-year contract on Tuesday. The Cowboys start phase two of their offseason workouts this week, so Elliott can rejoin the huddle with Dak Prescott straight away.

It's a one-year, $2 million contract for Elliott with $3 million guaranteed. It's understandable why fans would be upset with Zeke under contract for $90 million, but on these new terms? For a player who doesn't miss time, is a locker room figurehead and does all the dirty work on the gridiron? How can anyone possibly be upset by this move?

Now, the Cowboys must pivot to fixing their remaining roster holes. Another running back couldn't hurt. A speedster would be ideal. Elsewhere, Dallas needs another nose tackle and speaking of reunions, fans wouldn't turn their nose up at a Stephon Gilmore reunion.

Unfortunately, Gilmore might be as good as gone after the Cowboys announced that Elliott will wear the No. 21 jersey next season.

Cowboys may have revealed Stephon Gilmore's fate with Ezekiel Elliott's jersey number announcement

Gilmore repped the No. 21 jersey last season. It was speculated by fans that the Cowboys may re-sign Elliott last year following his release. When Gilmore took Elliott's No. 21, though, reality hit that Zeke wasn't coming back. The same can likely be said now about Gilmore.

Though Gilmore has donned many a jersey number in his career, all of those are currently occupied by other Cowboys players.

The No. 27 he wore as a rookie belongs to running back Royce Freeman, whom Dallas signed before the draft. He switched to No. 24 for the next eight years in New England and Buffalo. That belongs to defensive back Israel Mukuamu. Gilmore then switched to Nos. 9 and 5 with the Panthers and Colts, respectively. Wide receiver KaVontae Turpin has the former number and punter Bryan Anger has the latter.

Unless Gilmore were to debut a new number, it seems as though he has run his course with the Cowboys. The former Defensive Player of the Year was linked with a return to Carolina, but there's been zero movement since the draft. With Gilmore entering his age-34 season, teams are probably weighing how much money he's worth and the length of the contract.

Anything can happen in the NFL, but Elliott returning to his iconic No. 21 likely confirms that Gilmore won't be back in Dallas in 2024.

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