With salary cap concerns, Cowboys make big decision on Ezekiel Elliott

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The Dallas Cowboys don’t have much salary cap room to work with entering an all-important offseason. With that in mind, they still refuse to shop Ezekiel Elliott.

Elliott is an all-important member of the Cowboys’ offense, and the leader of their rushing attack. He’s signed through the 2026 season with a potential out after the 2023 campaign.

So, it sounds like the time to potentially deal with an aging Elliott is not now. As he nears 30 years old, a typical tipping point for players of his position, Elliott has the benefit of a franchise which believes in him.

“I want that guy on my team,” Stephen Jones said of Elliott, via Todd Archer of ESPN. “You talk about playing through some injuries. He’s a competitor. I think he’s a damn good running back.”

Cowboys aren’t trading Ezekiel Elliott

Elliott appears safe for now, but DeMarcus Lawrence and Amari Cooper are different questions entirely. The Cowboys are having buyers’ remorse with the Cooper contract, as he’s slowly deteriorated from one of the most explosive wide receivers in football to injury prone. Dallas could even trade him this offseason, and Jones didn’t shy away from that.

Elliott’s money is fully guaranteed for next season, which Jones went as afar as to point out. There’s no reason for the Cowboys to cut him loose, as odds are they won’t find a player at his caliber as a replacement — despite the rise of Tony Pollard — and they’ll have to pay him either way.

Zeke is just 26, but he’s played six full NFL seasons and it’s beginning to show. That’s why having an athletic, younger backup like Pollard is so important.

The Cowboys want Elliott to take the most important, vital carries in every game. He’s a player they can count on. But will he be their starting running back through 2026? That feels a little unlikely.

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