Dez Bryant, CeeDee Lamb defend Ezekiel Elliott in opposition to detractors

Can Ezekiel Elliott nonetheless be a beneficial contributor to the Cowboys or one other NFL crew? 

Apparently, it is dependent upon who one asks.

According to The Athletic, quite a few analysts and scouts throughout the NFL imagine that the 27-year-old operating again “has very little left in his legs” and he won’t get a contract above the league minimal if he decides to go away Dallas.

That leaves the Cowboys in a precarious spot in the case of dealing with contract negotiations with each Elliott and his well-regarded backup, Tony Pollard. The former fourth-round decide was the Cowboys’ main rusher final season with 1,007 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry, in comparison with Elliott’s career-low 3.8 YPC. Pollard is about to be a free agent this offseason whereas Elliott stays below contract for no less than $10.9 million subsequent season.

Pollard can also be working his manner again from a fractured fibula and excessive ankle sprain that he suffered throughout the Cowboys’ divisional spherical playoff loss to the 49ers in January, however he stays the likeliest candidate for Jerry Jones & Co. to make use of their franchise tag on, which might preserve Pollard within the fold for no less than 2023 at the price of $10.1 million. 

Elliott, however, is reportedly open to restructuring his contract and taking a pay minimize to stick with the Cowboys as nicely — an obvious admission that his greatest days are behind him. However, a few of his present and former Cowboys teammates imagine he can nonetheless be an necessary a part of a successful crew.

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Former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, who spent two years taking part in alongside Elliott, fired again Wednesday on Twitter on the notion that the operating again’s prime is over. Bryant apparently believes that accidents performed an even bigger function in Elliott’s struggles in 2022 than many are prepared to account for.

Bryant additionally responded when a reply to his tweet identified that Elliott performed with a brace on his proper knee for a lot of the later a part of the season after struggling a knee harm in an Oct. 23 recreation in opposition to the Detroit Lions. 

Bryant mentioned he virtually texted Elliott to “sit his a** down” when he noticed the brace.

Elliott additionally has one other backer within the present Cowboys receiver who wears the enduring No. 88 beforehand worn by the likes of Bryant and Hall of Famer Michael Irvin. CeeDee Lamb expressed a want for Elliott to return to the Cowboys on NFL Network within the days main as much as the Super Bowl.

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“Yeah, of course,” Lamb mentioned, through Sports Illustrated. “Zeke has always been a weapon here. I feel like his work that he does for this team and this offense is underappreciated. He does a lot of the dirty work and, man, this offense goes through him.”

Ezekiel Elliott is prepared to take pay minimize to stay with Cowboys, per studies

Despite the endorsements from Bryant and Lamb, Elliott’s statistics nonetheless noticed a noticeable drop-off in 2022. His 876 whole speeding yards in 15 video games performed was the bottom of his profession, over 100 yards decrease than the 983 he had in simply 10 video games throughout an injury-shortened 2017 marketing campaign. 

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Elliott’s involvement within the Cowboys’ cross recreation additionally noticed a steep decline in 2022, because the veteran caught simply 17 passes on 23 targets for a grand whole of 92 yards. He had beforehand by no means recorded fewer than 250 receiving yards in a season.

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