Cowboys Icon Troy Aikman Hints at Reunion Between Dallas & Former RB

Ezekiel Elliott

Getty Former Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott.

The Dallas Cowboys are on the other side of the NFL draft, but that doesn’t mean the team still can’t make a splash this offseason.

The Cowboys said goodbye to longtime running back Ezekiel Elliott in March, but a former Dallas QB thinks they could be reconciled soon.

Speaking to’s Mike Fisher, three-time Super Bowl champion QB Troy Aikman explained his read on the situation: The locker room loves Zeke, and the energy appears to be headed toward his return.

“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.”

Where Elliott ends up has been one of the major talking points of the 2023 offseason, and the former Ohio State star appears no closer to a new team. If both sides were to agree on a new deal, it’d almost be as though the RB never left.

Cowboys Open to Re-signing Zeke

The key reason for releasing Elliott, 27, in March was his sizable salary. His cap hit in 2023 was going to be the biggest for any RB in the NFL, and the increased role of running back Tony Pollard meant that his production didn’t justify his salary. Though his 12 rushing TDs was tied for second highest in his career, Elliott’s rushing yards, carries and yards per attempt were all career lows. His receiving numbers also were career lows.

In order for a reunion to happen, Dallas and Elliott would have to agree on compensation. That could be difficult, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones isn’t opposed to it. After the draft, the 80-year-old owner said in the team’s official press conference they were still open to bringing Elliott back.

“No, no no,” Jones responded when asked if Dallas was done considering a reunion. “Not at all. That ship hasn’t sailed yet. We haven’t made a decision. … Nothing we did today changes that.”

Dallas did draft former Kansas State star Deuce Vaughn in the sixth round. It does make the RB room a little more crowded, but if the Cowboys want Elliott back, it would prompt some tough decisions when cutting down that group.

Ezekiel Elliott Recruited by Chiefs RB

While Jones isn’t ruling out a return for Elliott, Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco spoke to Heavy Sports’ Jonathan Adams about the possibility of Elliott’s joining the defending Super Bowl champs.

Pacheco had plenty of praise for Elliott but also made it clear he’s ready to stake his claim should the former Buckeye join Kansas City.

“Ezekiel Elliott, that’s my dog. I’ve been watching him growing up, watched film on him, take [down] details, dropped notes [on his game],” Pacheco said. “…Hey, I’m with it [Elliott signing with the Chiefs], whatever he makes the decision. I’m willing and I’m ready to compete if he’s ready. So, we’ll see.”

Pacheco is coming off his rookie season with the Chiefs, and five touchdowns.

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