It looks like the Dallas Cowboys could still make a major post-draft day signing.
Shortly after the Cowboys completed the 2023 NFL Draft on Saturday, April 29, team owner Jerry Jones left open the possibility of re-signing running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott was released in March after seven seasons with the team.
Via Jon Machota of The Athletic:
“Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on possibly trying to re-sign Ezekiel Elliott: ‘The ship hasn’t sailed there. We haven’t made a decision at all. As far as our interest in Zeke, nothing we did today changes that. I haven’t ruled out Zeke.'”
Cowboys Have Previously Hinted at Re-Signing Ezekiel Elliott
This isn’t the first time Jones has hinted at possibly bringing back Elliott for a second stint.
Jones previously left the door open on a potential ‘Zeke reunion during the league’s annual owner meetings back in March.
Via Clarence E. Hill Jr. of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
“I don’t want to ever and I don’t want to leave him hanging or-fans hanging or anybody,” Jones said. “But I wouldn’t take any possibility off the table.”
The comments were made shortly after the Cowboys made a late-round draft at running back in Kansas State’s Deuce Vaughn. Dallas selected Vaughn with the No. 212 overall pick in the sixth round.
“We obviously drafted a running back, but a little different style than Zeke,” said Jones, via David Moore of The Dallas Morning News. “I’m not trying to be cute. But nothing we did today changes that.’’
With Vaughn standing at just 5-foot-5 and 179 pounds, he won’t be filling the bell-cow role that Elliott occupied during his time with the Cowboys.
Why Cowboys Could Still Re-Sign Ezekiel Elliott
Outside of Vaughn, the Cowboys did not make any draft day-related moves when it comes to the running back position. Dallas was previously linked to the top running back in the draft, Bijan Robinson. However, the Cowboys did not move up to the early picks of the draft and Robinson was ultimately selected at No. 8 overall by the Atlanta Falcons.
That means Dallas’ current depth chart is Tony Pollard at starter — he’s currently recovering from a broken fibula injured suffered in January — Malik Davis and Ronald Jones battling as the backup and Vaughn as the fourth-string back, assuming he makes the roster.
However, all three of those backs outside of Pollard could very well be cut before the start of the season.
Despite being a free agent for more than a month, there has been little to no indication that teams are interested in signing Elliott. It was previously reported that Elliott was interested in signing with either the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets or Cincinnati Bengals.
However, all three of those teams have turned down the idea of adding Elliott in the immediate future.
Jones said he’s not surprised that the three-time Pro Bowler has yet to land with a new team.
“Not at all because I’m sure most of the clubs who could be looking at running back wanted to see what they were looking at in the draft and the results of the draft,’’ Jones said, via Moore.
Once offseason activities conclude and as we head closer to training camp, we’ll see if the Cowboys do end up bringing back Elliott.