Cowboys and Former RB Have ‘Mutual Interest’ in Reunion: Report

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

Getty Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

The Dallas Cowboys have yet to replace RB Tony Pollard, but they could bring back a very familiar face to reload. In a new report from ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler, Dallas and former running back Ezekiel Elliott are both into the idea of a reunion this offseason.

Fowler’s report dropped on March 30 and goes into detail about the two sides courting each other.

“The Dallas Cowboys and free agent running back Ezekiel Elliott have mutual interest in a reunion, sources tell ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler,” Fowler wrote. “While a deal between Elliott and his former club has not been reached, both sides are open to it, sources added.”

The idea of Elliott coming back to Dallas after their 2023 breakup is sensational, to say the least. The long-time Cowboys RB was cut last year due to an engorged salary and a lack of trade partners. He joined the New England Patriots in free agency but regressed in several statistical categories.

But after a mediocre season away from Dallas, Elliott’s price has likely dropped again. Now, the Cowboys may be able to bring him back for cheap. He knows the Jones family and the organization well, so signing for the right price point could be a shrewd move for Dallas.

Ezekiel Elliott Takes New England Detour

After an inability to find middle ground, Elliott needed a new home and Bill Belichick came calling. It seemed like an opportunity for the former Ohio State Buckeye to prove he still was a top-tier RB, but it’s safe to say that didn’t exactly happen.

According to Pro Football Reference, Elliott totaled 642 rushing yards on 184 carries. He also scored 5 total touchdowns and added 313 receiving yards. Despite having a prevalent role, Elliott was only named the team’s starting RB in 5 games.

His average of 3.5 yards per carry was the lowest season average of his career. He has dropped in average yards over the past two years, going from 4.2 in 2021 to 3.8 in 2022 and then 3.5 yards per rush in 2023.

That is where Elliott has red flags. He is clearly far less effective than he was in years prior. Signing him could be a valuable move for the Cowboys, but he feels far removed from being a “feature back.”

Cowboys HC Speaks on Free Agency Approach

The report of a reunion somewhat collides with recent comments from the Cowboys’ top brass. Head coach Mike McCarthy recently spoke on the team’s free agency approach, saying they aren’t in the market “right now.”

“We’re just not part of the free agent market right now… Also there’s a lot left,” McCarthy said, as Heavy previously covered. “You’ll probably have a market right before the draft or post-draft, and then you got your June 1 market and obviously we’ll have another draft class.”

In that quote, McCarthy clearly states that Dallas isn’t ruling out any future moves. But the comment + the team’s lack of activity clearly showed they are taking their time.

Elliott does feel like a different situation, though. The established relationship has likely expedited the channels of communication.