The Dallas Cowboys are on the other side of the 2023 NFL draft, but that doesn’t mean the team still can’t make a splash this offseason.
Dallas made seven picks overall, adding some new talent to an already successful squad coming off an appearance in the NFC Divisional Round. The Cowboys did say goodbye to longtime running back Ezekiel Elliott in the process, but a former Dallas QB thinks they could be reconciled soon.
Speaking to SI.com’s Mike Fisher, three-time Super Bowl champion QB Troy Aikman explained his read on the situation: the locker room loves Zeke, and the energy appears to be headed towards his return.
“I don’t want to speak for the Cowboys or the Joneses, but it feels like (a reunion) might be the case,” Aikman said. “I know there’s a great amount of respect for Zeke… I’ve talked to a number of people that have been in that locker room – coaches, players – and he’s the glue.”
Where Elliott ends up has been one of the major talking points of the 2023 offseason, and the former Ohio State star appears no closer to a new team. If both sides can agree on a new deal, it’d almost be like the RB never left.
The key reason for releasing Elliott in March was due to his sizable contract salary. His cap hit in 2023 was going to be the biggest for any RB in the NFL and the rise of Tony Pollard meant that his production didn’t meet his salary.
In order for a reunion to happen, Dallas and Zeke have to agree on compensation. That could be difficult, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones isn’t opposed to it. After the 2023 NFL draft, the 80-year-old owner said in the team’s official press conference they were still open to bringing Elliott back.
“No, no no,” Jones responded when asked if Dallas was done considering a reunion. “Not at all. That ship hasn’t sailed yet. We haven’t made a decision… Nothing we did today changes that.”
Dallas did draft former Kansas State star Deuce Vaughn in the sixth round. It does make the RB room a little more crowded, but if the Cowboys want Elliott back, it will prompt some tough decisions when cutting down that group.
While Jones isn’t ruling out a return for Elliott, Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco spoke to Heavy’s Jonathan Adams about the possibility of Elliott joining the defending Super Bowl champs.
Pacheco had plenty of praise for Elliott, but also made it clear he’s ready to stake his claim should the former Buckeye join Kansas City.
“Ezekiel Elliott, that’s my dog. I’ve been watching him growing up, watched film on him, take [down] details, dropped notes [on his game],” Pacheco said. “…Hey, I’m with it [Elliott signing with the Chiefs], whatever he makes the decision. I’m willing and I’m ready to compete if he’s ready. So, we’ll see.”
Pacheco is coming off his rookie season with the Chiefs, totaling 830 rushing yards and five touchdowns according to Pro Football Reference.