Ezekiel Elliott's return to Dallas isn't how Cowboys fans envisioned

New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys
New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys capped a fantastic regular season by winning the NFC East. It's a testament to the Cowboys roster construction that they won another 12 games despite losing a number of key contributors in the offseason.

The release of Ezekiel Elliott hurt the most, but the Cowboys also said goodbye to Dalton Schultz, Connor McGovern, Noah Brown and Carlos Watkins.

Now with the Texans, Schultz and Brown are headed to the playoffs, while McGovern is also playoff-bound with the Bills. Cowboys fans would've loved to see Elliott return to the postseason, but the Patriots had no chance.

Following their Week 18 loss, Zeke's Patriots clinched the No. 3 overall pick in the draft. Elliott expressed a desire to return to New England in 2024, but the team's expected to undergo significant turnover in the offseason.

What we do know about Elliott's future -- at least in the short-term -- is that he plans to return to Dallas to support his former team.

Ezekiel Elliott plans to return to Dallas for Cowboys playoff game

Elliott didn't specify if he'd be in town for Sunday's first-round game against the Packers, but we like to think he'll be in attendance.

While Elliott didn't leave on great terms, he's had nothing but positive things to say about the franchise following his release. He understands the business side of the game. We'd even venture to say he saw the writing on the wall. Regardless, the respect and love between Zeke and the Cowboys in mutual.

When the Patriots visited AT&T Stadium in Week 4, Dallas crafted a special video tribute for Elliott that highlighted his finest moments with the team. The clip culminated when the video board showed a choked up Dak Prescott clapping for Elliott, who returned the gesture with his signature "Feed Me" celebration.

Even if Elliott harbors some hard feelings over his release, his friendship with Dak Prescott and other former Cowboys teammates goes beyond football.

Fans hope Elliott will one day return to Dallas as a player, maybe in the form of a one-day contract before he retires, or as a short-yardage specialist on a one-year deal. That's the happy ending Zeke deserves, but there's plenty of time to speculate on his future.

In the meantime, Elliott will be supporting Prescott and the Cowboys as they look to defeat the Packers and move on to the Divisional Round. As much as we'd love to have him on the sidelines, Jerry Jones should do right by the two-time rushing champ and invite him into his suite for the game.

We'll see what happens, but either way, you can score a guaranteed $150 sign-up bonus from FanDuel Sportsbook with any $5 bet backing the Cowboys! Deposit at least $10 and bet $5 or more on the Cowboys vs. Packers and you'll get $150 in bonus bets win or lose. Sign up for FanDuel now!

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