It appears that Wednesday could be a rather significant day for the Dallas Cowboys. When the clock strikes 4 p.m. ET today the new league year will officially begin, and every team in the NFL must be in compliance with the salary cap at that point in time.
The Cowboys were busy on Tuesday afternoon in re-signing both Donovan Wilson and Leighton Vander Esch, but they also very notably traded for veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore. All of those things have to be accounted for and what goes up must come down, which means the Cowboys have to save money somewhere on their books.
We have already seen Dallas restructure the deals of Dak Prescott, Zack Martin and Michael Gallup, but there are two switches that they have yet to flip. The Cowboys could also work on Tyron Smith’s contract, something that feels inevitable, but they could also save money by releasing running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Based on reports from NFL insiders, it appears that this could indeed happen on Wednesday.
This is the likely choice, sources confirm. Not official. But very real chance Zeke Elliott has played his last down in Dallas (and would be a post-June 1 release). https://t.co/yxzh5XPcf4— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2023
I’ve inquired about Zeke and here’s what I’ve been told. “There have been discussions about his release. Not sure if it’s happening today” per one source. Another “Last I heard we were trying to make it work. That was a week ago.” ♀️— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) March 15, 2023
An Elliott release would save the Cowboys $4.86M immediately. It has been noted many times that they could (and likely will) designate him as a post-June 1st cut, and if they do then the overall savings this season would be $10.9M; however, the difference is obviously not available until after June 1st.
Ezekiel Elliott has been one of the primary faces of the Dallas Cowboys over the course of this era of the team. He was the team’s final first-round draft choice (number four overall) while they were still operating out of Valley Ranch and the transition to The Star happened as his rookie year began. Obviously the Dak Prescott era began in parallel with Zeke and has gone on for seven years to this point.
We will see if the Cowboys do wind up releasing Zeke, but it is starting to seem inevitable.
Update: 11:55am ET
According to NFL Network’s Jane Slater an announcement on Zeke could come on Wednesday at 3pm CT (that is the moment that the New League Year begins) or on Thursday morning.
When can we expect the Zeke announcement? I’m told 3pm CST or Thursday morning https://t.co/k6NHMoPbqM— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) March 15, 2023
We will of course keep you updated here at BTB.