Cowboys Rumors: Insider reveals timeline for end of Ezekiel Elliott free agency

Is Ezekiel Elliott's free agency saga finally nearing a conclusion?
Dec 24, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) during the
Dec 24, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) during the / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Jones wants the media to think the Dallas Cowboys are interested in re-signing Ezekiel Elliott, but team reporters aren't buying it.

At least not before the Cowboys' first preseason game.

Mike McCarthy is loving what he's seeing from Rico Dowdle, who opened as RB2 on the team's initial unofficial depth chart, as well as 2022 undrafted free agent Malik Davis and 2023 sixth-round pick Deuce Vaughn, who's seen work on special teams in addition to running back.

As long as the Cowboys are comfortable heading into the regular season with Dowdle, Davis and Vaughn as insurance behind Tony Pollard, there's really no sense in signing Elliott, who experienced a sharp decline as a rusher last season.

You never rule out anything in the NFL, obviously, but Cowboys fans can't help but wonder when Zeke's free agency saga will end.

Former NFL GM Michael Lombardi believes Elliott should have a new home two weeks before the regular season, which starts on Sept. 7.

Cowboys Rumors: Is Ezekiel Elliott's free agency nearing a close?

What's interesting is that Lombardi thinks Elliott (and Dalvin Cook) both know where they're gonna sign. While the Jets and Cowboys have purportedly shown interest in Elliott, he's only taken a free agent visit with the Patriots.

Cook, meanwhile, has visited with the Jets and Dolphins. That leaves New England as the most feasible Elliott suitor, but New York might view the two-time rushing champ as a worthwhile contingency plan if New York misses out on Cook, who's reportedly setting a high bar for himself in terms of salary.

This is all speculation, but Lombardi is plugged-in and well aware of how free agents and their representations handle business. Given the state of the running back position, neither Elliott nor Cook wants to risk injury, so the former executive believes they'll both wait until the end of training camp to sign.

Not only does this risk injury on their part, but it opens the door for more potential suitors if a team loses its starting back before the season.

The Colts are a team to watch amid Jonathan Taylor's holdout from training camp. They recently visited with Kareem Hunt, who took a free agent visit with the Saints. New Orleans will be without Alvin Kamara for the first three games and are seemingly looking for a veteran to deploy alongside Jamaal Williams.

We'd still peg the Patriots as Elliott's most likely next destination, but at least fans have a ballpark of when he'll sign.

Wherever he ends up, it'll certainly be an emotional time.

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