Former Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott could be reuniting with a familiar face as the Los Angeles Chargers are being labeled as a potential landing spot for the running back. Former Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore took the same position with the Chargers prompting some to speculate Elliott could reunite with his former coach in Southern California.
Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton put together a list of the best landing spots for the top remaining free agents and has Elliott joining the Chargers. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on March 14, 2023 that Los Angeles gave permission for star rusher Austin Ekeler to seek a trade.
“This offseason, the Cowboys fired Moore months before they cut Elliott,” Moton detailed on May 13. “As a play-caller, the former helped the latter put together a Pro Bowl campaign in 2019. During Moore’s four-year tenure as the Dallas offensive coordinator, Elliott improved his ball security (one fumble in 2021 and 2022 after 12 from 2016 to 2018 and nine in 2019 and 2020) and logged at least 10 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.
“…With the addition of Elliott, the Chargers would have a strong duo. Ekeler can complement him as Tony Pollard did with Dallas under Moore. Los Angeles needs a physical ball-carrier who can take on short-yardage situations, which would keep Ekeler fresh for the duration of a the season.”
Ex-Cowboys RB Coach Skip Peete on Ezekiel Elliott: ‘You’re Going to Be the Second or Third Guy’
Elliott’s longtime running backs coach Skip Peete is now with the Buccaneers staff, and spoke about why the star is still a free agent. Peete cited financial expectations as the main reason for Elliott’s availability. Elliott had a $12.4 million salary in 2022 as part of a six-year, $90 million contract with Dallas. The star was slated to have a $10.9 million salary in 2023 prior to being released by the Cowboys this offseason.
“I think he would be good in any situation, I’m just not sure exactly how the dynamic of explaining to him that, like I told him, I said, ‘You’re gonna play for a million dollars,'” Peete remarked during a May 10 press conference. “And I think he was making like [$12 million]. So, I mean, who’s gonna be the one to tell him that?
“I think that’s part of the reason he’s sitting out there, but if you’re going to play and you’re going to be the second or third guy, that’s kind of what the price is. So, that’s something that that person has to be able to make a decision on if that’s what they want to do.”
Cowboys Rumors: Dallas Is Unlikely Considering a Reunion With Ezekiel Elliott
Publicly, owner Jerry Jones has left the door open for Elliott to potentially return to Dallas, but this is unlikely the reality of the situation. ESPN’s Todd Archer does not believe the Cowboys are truly considering a reunion with Elliott.
“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 noted during a May 1 interview with 105.3 The Fan’s “Shan and RJ.” “So nothing has changed his mind. Look, Zeke should have a job in the NFL. [He] can still be an effective player. I just don’t think he’ll be in Dallas.”
“I think Zeke would have such an oversized position in the locker room to what his role would actually be that it just wouldn’t make the best sense,” Archer added. “And talking to people, they kind of like what Ronald Jones can do, the guy they picked up in free agency. They just added Deuce [Vaughn], so they have some options behind Tony Pollard that it should be workable.”