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Report: Ezekiel Elliott eyeing big-money deal, Cowboys reunion on the table

By Vinny Somma,

Former Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott, who spent the first seven years of his professional career with the Dallas Cowboys before being released in mid-March, remains unsigned nearly three months into free agency.

While a market for the three-time Pro Bowler hasn't materialized to this point, Elliott doesn't appear too desperate to ink a deal anytime soon.

ESPN insider Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday's episode of NFL Live that Elliott is taking a leisurely approach to his free agency while holding out hope that a new team decides to open up its checkbook. If a big payday doesn't transpire, Schefter notes that a return to the Lone Star State is very much on the table.

"The Cowboys would welcome and embrace him," claimed Schefter via Bleacher Report . "I think Zeke keeps waiting to see if there's an opportunity that shakes loose, if there's some team out there that's willing to bring him in and pay him. There's no rush for him, he can always go back to Dallas. So I think he's waiting to see if something else materializes, while the Dallas Cowboys would be open to bringing him back, where he would make sense in that offense."

The Ohio State product took a backseat to breakout all-purpose back, Tony Pollard, in 2022. Over 15 games (14 starts), Elliott produced career lows in rushing yards (876) and yards per carry (3.8). In Elliott's defense, the stats don't tell the whole story.

Playing primarily as a short-yardage/goal-line back, Elliott's rushing average was negatively impacted by the game situations he was featured in. Conversely, this style of usage also allowed Elliott to account for 12 rushing touchdowns — his most since 2019.

Elliott, who will turn 28 years old on July 22, has a lot more mileage on his legs than his age might let on. In fact, since entering the league in 2016, Zeke has rushed the ball 131 more times than any other player in the NFL.

The likelihood that Elliott cashes in this offseason is slim to none. Having said that, he has a clear nose for the end zone and has more juice left in the tank than pundits like to give him credit for.

Waiting on a potential camp injury to occur could open the door for Elliott to step into a substantial workload in 2023. If not, reclaiming his role in Dallas as second-fiddle to Pollard could prove beneficial to all parties involved and further prolong Elliott's career.

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