Cowboys Rumors: Another NFL insider links Ezekiel Elliott with NFC team

Sep 11, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) is tackled by
Sep 11, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) is tackled by / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It's largely been quiet on the Ezekiel Elliott front since the Dallas Cowboys released him before the start of free agency in early March. With the NFL Draft nearly three weeks old, it stands to reason that Elliott's market will begin heating up over the next month.

Jerry Jones has stated publicly that the "ship hasn't sailed" as far as re-signing Elliott. Additionally, Dak Prescott verbally pounded the table on Adam Schefter's podcast for the team to bring back the three-time Pro Bowler.

It's pretty clear ownership and the locker room would welcome Zeke back with open arms. The one major hurdle both parties would have to clear, though, is Elliott's contract, as Jones revealed Dallas didn't offer Elliott a reduced salary out of respect for the running back.

It's anyone's guess where Elliott ends up playing in 2023, but ESPN's Jeremy Fowler became the latest insider to link the former All-Pro to the Buccaneers. Fowler said on SportsCenter that the Bucs are looking for someone behind Rachaad White and that Tampa could be an option for Elliott.

Cowboys Rumors: Will Ezekiel Elliott sign with the Buccaneers?

In addition to Fowler, noted Buccaneers beat reporter Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times believes the team has a clear role for Elliott.

"What they really could use is a short-yardage guy and a guy that has the veteran experience," Stroud said on a radio hit. "When you think about what [Elliott] is now, he can do everything. He’s a ferocious blocker, he’s good in short yardage, and his numbers are down simply because he’s not going to get the carries and the attempts, but he still had 12 touchdowns last year.”

Add in the fact that former Cowboys RBs coach Skip Peete is with the Buccaneers in the same position, and Tampa Bay would make a great fit for Elliott.

Not to mention, the Bucs surprisingly didn't take a running back in the NFL Draft to compete with White for RB1. It's clear the team is comfortable with White leading the way, but the 2022 third-round pick struggled between the tackles as a rookie. Though Elliott has lost a step, he's still effective in that role and in short yard situations.

On paper, Elliott is a perfect complement behind White. You could say the same about Tony Pollard, too. If he's to return to Dallas, though, it would have to be the perfect situation. Perhaps near the start of training camp if he's still unsigned.

A surprise team could always emerge out of the blue -- likely after the post-June 1 releases become official, but at this juncture it's not farfetched to peg the Buccaneers as the favorites to land Elliott's signature.

Next. Could Cowboys UDFA signing close door on Zeke reunion? . dark