Though Jerry Jones refused to rule it out, rumors of Ezekiel Elliott's return to the Dallas Cowboys seemed to become overblown in recent weeks. Elliott was released at the start of free agency as a post-June 1 cut for a reason.
The savings were immense, sure, but the Cowboys also saw a chance to emphasize Tony Pollard in the offense during his tag year while divorcing themselves from a thunderous financial commitment in the backfield, a concept that hasn't worked out well in recent NFL history. Add in the drafting of in-house favorite Deuce Vaughn, and Elliott appeared to have been supplanted.
Strangely enough, it seems like his next home might come with a team that's typically reticent to pay big-market prices for big-name veterans whose stars are beginning to fade.
Elliott is reportedly headed to visit the New England Patriots on Saturday, which would insinuate that he's either not as burnt out as he would seem to be to the naked eye, or that the Pats are increasingly desperate.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott could fill Damien Harris' gap in New England with Patriots
Incumbent Patriots running back Damien Harris, a known smashmouth success, bolted for the Bills on a cheap deal this offseason. If the Pats weren't willing to pay the piper to keep Harris paired with Rhamondre Stevenson, why would they fork over the dough for Elliott, a theoretically similar 'back?
New England has also been connected to Dalvin Cook at various points this offseason, but the ex-Vikings running back seems to be a future Jet. Hence, a new set of rumors.
If the Cowboys still intend to add a running back, Kareem Hunt has been theorized as an Elliott replacement by NFL insiders. The genuine article might be officially gone in a matter of days, though, breaking up a Prescott-Zeke partnership that did plenty of damage, but never got over the hump in seven years together. The durable Elliott only missed 11 games total during his Cowboys career.