Any last hopes of Ezekiel Elliott re-signing appear completely dead

Ezekiel Elliott is so not re-signing with the Dallas Cowboys after losing his jersey number.

Any notion that Ezekiel Elliott could return to the Dallas Cowboys in his free agency has been thrown out the window, as they gave his jersey number to someone else.

It may not seem like a big thing, but this is a massive deal. It may not hurt as bad as a hall-of-fame level player on another professional sports team seeing his number go to someone else, hinting that it will not be retired in his honor, but this isn’t great for the Cowboys, or Elliott for that matter. The new No. 21 in Dallas will be a future hall-of-fame player in star cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

I understand that jerseys are rarely retired in the NFL, but handing out Elliott’s No. 21 this fast is tone-deaf and kind of embarrassing if we’re being totally honest here.

Sure, Elliott could return, but why would the former No. 5 overall pick be willing to swap numbers?

Dallas Cowboys have officially moved on from Ezekiel Elliott ever coming back

As soon as the Cowboys used the franchise tag on running back Tony Pollard, Elliott’s days in Dallas were over. Although he has had elite stretches in his pro career, Elliott may be a year-by-year player going forward. With teams on his wishlist like the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles pretty much ruling him out entirely, Elliott needs to go to the Cincinnati Bengals already.

At this point in Elliott’s career, it is better to play somewhere where he will be loved, as opposed to tolerated. Many members of Who Dey Nation happen to root for Elliott’s Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday. They have a better team than the Cowboys, all things equal. More importantly, they could really use a running back like Elliott to get them over the top. Plus, he knows Joe Burrow.

So while Gilmore wears the No. 21 jersey in Dallas as the next big star in Big D, Elliott will need to look for a new place to play because Zeke’s gotta eat. Here is to Elliott leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns next season. I hope he loves his new Cincinnati stripes and does The Ickey Shuffle every time he hits pay dirt. Elliott slamming the football down like some cold cuts would be swell.

The bigger question is if a diet of strictly cold cuts and Skyline will get Elliott to the promised land.

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