The Dallas Cowboys added a new running back in the 2023 NFL draft, but one Cowboys Hall of Famer thinks the team still needs to re-sign Ezekiel Elliott.
Dallas drafted former Kansas State star Deuce Vaughn in the sixth round, giving the team a fairly crowded running back room with Tony Pollard, Malik Davis, Rico Dowdle and Ronald Jones II.
However, four-time All-Pro and Cowboys icon Emmitt Smith thinks the team still needs Elliott’s services. In a recent interview with USA Today, Smith called for Dallas to bring Zeke back.
“I think Dallas needs to bring Zeke back if they can,” Smith said. “With the uncertainty of [Tony] Pollard being able to come back and be the Tony Pollard we all know we have, that is yet to be seen. Until that is proven itself out and he’s healthy enough to get out there and carry the football and be some form of who he used to be, that is my biggest concern. No disrespect to Malik Davis, no disrespect to Deuce Vaughn but, Malik Davis and Deuce Vaughn, and no Tony Pollard, presents a major challenge.”
It’s clear that Smith has concerns about Pollard’s recovery ahead of the 2023 season, as well as the relatively unproven talents that Davis and Vaughn possess.
ESPN Insider Downplays Potential Free Agency Signing
While Smith made his stance clear on the matter, ESPN insider Todd Archer needs some convincing to buy into a reunion. The reporter hopped on an interview with 105.3 The Fan’s “Shan and RJ” and was asked about comments from owner Jerry Jones.
Archer believes that Jones was being respectful or kind to Elliott rather than giving credence to rumors of a reunion.
“I think it’s Jerry being nice, and if you really parse what he said, he’s like nothing has happened this weekend [that] has changed my mind. Well, he’s not really told us what his mind was, so his mind could be, ‘We’re not bringing the guy back,’” Archer said.
NFL owners don’t typically talk about potential signings until they’re completed, but Jones isn’t a typical owner either. Archer’s point is valid, though, and the reality is that only the Cowboys’ top brass know what Jones’ real thoughts are.
Another Cowboys Icon Talks Elliott
While Smith makes it clear how he feels, his former quarterback Troy Aikman spoke on his read of the situation in a recent interview with SI.com’s Mike Fisher.
Aikman and Smith won three Super Bowls together, so the pair more than understands the importance of a dynamic like Elliott and QB Dak Prescott have. Aikman had nothing but positive things to say about Zeke’s locker room presence.
“I don’t want to speak for the Cowboys or the Joneses, but it feels like (a reunion) might be the case,” Aikman said. “I know there’s a great amount of respect for Zeke. … I’ve talked to a number of people that have been in that locker room – coaches, players – and he’s the glue.”
Aikman and Smith are two of the biggest names in Cowboys history, but it remains to be seen if there commentary will affect how Dallas moves forward.