There was an emotional cost to the Cowboys cutting running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott is carrying it.
Dak Prescott has played every season of his NFL career with Ezekiel Elliott. Until now.
The Cowboys made the decision to part ways with Elliott this week, cutting him to save upwards of $10 million.
The move proves the NFL is a business, but even Jerry jones seemed torn up about it. That’s how much Elliott meant to the franchise.
Prescott is still processing the idea of not having Elliott in the lockerroom this coming season. When Clarence Hill of —- asked him about looking ahead to the 2023 season now feeling bittersweet, this is how he responded:
“It’s hard for me to see the sweet right now….But I know the sweet is coming.”
Dak Prescott has to adjust to life without Ezekiel Elliott
The Cowboys drafted Prescott in the fourth round in 2016 after grabbing Elliott with the No. 4 overall pick. The running back jumped out to immediate stardom, rushing for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns as a rookie. The quarterback unexpectedly joined him in the starting lineup becauseof an injury to Tony Romo in the preseason. Prescott made the job his own with a 13-3 record.
Since then, they’ve been two peas in a pod in the Dallas backfield.
The emergence of Tony Pollard as the team’s leading rusher in 2022 heralded the end of Elliott’s time in a Cowboys uniform. While Elliott had 876 yards at 3.8 yards per carry, Pollard had 1,007 at a 5.2 yard per carry rate.
Given Elliott’s lack of efficiency behind the Dallas offensive line, it made sense for the Cowboys to save some dough while going with the hotter hand. There are other, cheaper, options they can pick up to replace him.
That’s the football perspective.
From the personal perspective, it’s a tough pill to swallow considering the strong relationships involved.