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What Happened To Ezekiel Elliott

What Happened To Ezekiel Elliott

What Happened To Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott’s New Chapter with the New England Patriots

After a storied seven-season tenure with the Dallas Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott, one of the NFL’s most prominent running backs, has embarked on a new journey in the 2023 season with the New England Patriots. This transition marks a significant shift not only in Elliott’s career but also in the dynamics of NFL team strategies concerning the running back position.

From Dallas Star to New England Patriot

Ezekiel Elliott, affectionately known as ‘Zeke,’ has left behind the iconic Dallas star and the number 21 jersey, trading them for the Patriots’ red, white, and blue. The Patriots secured Elliott’s services with a team-friendly one-year contract worth $3 million, potentially increasing to $6 million with incentives. This deal reflects the current NFL landscape where running backs are often undervalued due to the physical demands of the position and the perceived interchangeability of players.

Despite his superstar status, Elliott finds himself as the backup to Rhamondre Stevenson, who had an impressive 2022 season. This placement is indicative of the broader league trend where teams are increasingly opting for a ‘Running Back By Committee’ approach to minimize costs and wear on any single player.

The Decline and Departure from Dallas

Elliott’s departure from the Cowboys was influenced by multiple factors, including his declining performance and the emergence of Tony Pollard as a viable starting option. In 2022, Elliott posted career lows in several categories, signaling a downturn that made the decision easier for Dallas. The team saved $10.9 million in cap space by releasing him, a move that was anticipated but still poignant given Elliott’s contributions to the team over the years.

Jerry Jones, the Cowboys’ owner, expressed deep gratitude for Elliott’s impact both on and off the field, emphasizing his leadership and professionalism. However, the harsh realities of NFL economics and team strategy led to a mutual agreement to part ways, allowing Elliott the freedom to explore his options in free agency.

Elliott’s New Role and Performance with the Patriots

Since joining the Patriots, Elliott’s role has been more limited compared to his prime years in Dallas. Behind Stevenson, his contributions have been modest but increasing as the season progresses. In a recent game against the Jets, Elliott rushed for 80 yards on 16 carries, showing flashes of his old form. This performance is crucial as he adapts to the Patriots’ system and seeks to prove his enduring value in a competitive environment.

Bill Belichick, the Patriots’ head coach, has acknowledged the adjustment period for both Elliott and the team, suggesting a potential increase in his involvement in the game plan. As the Patriots prepare to face the Cowboys, Elliott’s former team, the matchup is laden with emotional and professional significance for the veteran running back.

Looking Ahead: Elliott’s Prospects and Legacy

As Elliott returns to Dallas in a Patriots uniform, the game is set to be a poignant reminder of his significant contributions to the Cowboys and his ongoing journey in the NFL. Regardless of the game’s outcome, Elliott’s move to the Patriots is a pivotal moment in his career, offering him a new platform to influence another team’s fortunes and perhaps redefine his legacy.

While the future is uncertain, Elliott’s resilience and adaptability suggest that he can still make a meaningful impact in the league. Whether this chapter with the Patriots revitalizes his career or serves as a graceful denouement, Ezekiel Elliott remains a compelling figure in the NFL narrative.

FAQs About Ezekiel Elliott’s Career Transition

  • Why did the Cowboys release Ezekiel Elliott?
    The Cowboys released Elliott primarily due to his declining performance and the emergence of Tony Pollard as a cheaper and equally effective option. This move also provided significant cap relief for the team.
  • What are the terms of Elliott’s contract with the Patriots?
    Elliott signed a one-year deal with the Patriots worth $3 million, which could reach up to $6 million with incentives.
  • How has Elliott performed with the Patriots so far?
    Elliott has had a limited role behind Rhamondre Stevenson but showed potential in recent games, suggesting his usage might increase as the season progresses.
  • What does Elliott’s move say about the NFL’s valuation of running backs?
    Elliott’s move reflects a broader league trend where running backs are often seen as replaceable and are rarely given high-value, long-term contracts due to the physical toll of the position.
  • Can Elliott revive his career with the Patriots?
    While it’s uncertain, Elliott’s experience and skill set give him a chance to make a significant impact with the Patriots, depending on how his role evolves over the season.

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