One of the biggest storylines surrounding the Dallas Cowboys is the fate of Ezekiel Elliott and whether he remains on the team. Elliott was the catalyst behind the offense that ushered in the transition from quarterback Tony Romo to Dak Prescott. At one time, he was one of the premier players in the NFL and earned several accolades to start his career. He was named a First-Team All-Pro his rookie season and elected to the Pro Bowl in three of his first four seasons.
However, things have changed, and Elliott isn’t the player he used to be. Numerous factors, such as injuries and a reduction in playing time saw Elliott’s numbers decline sharply in more recent years. Last season was his worse season in the NFL, totaling a career-low 876 rushing yards and 3.8 yards per carry. To further complicate matters, Elliott’s contract is an albatross to a team that’s currently projected to be over the league-imposed salary cap.
Whether anyone, the front office or the fanbase, likes it or not, the Cowboys needs to explore life without Ezekiel Elliott, and that time needs to come now. We’ve previously covered this subject in detail, and if the team chooses to sever ties, there’s a perfect option to replace Elliott for a fraction of the cost.
Pos: Running back
Exp: 6 yrs.
At 6’1” and 236 lbs., D’Onta Foreman is a big, physical runner that has deceptive agility and surprising breakaway speed. The former Texas Longhorn has had a bit of an odyssey in the NFL since being drafted by the Houston Texans in 2017. Foreman suffered a torn Achilles in his rookie and was waived by the team in 2019, reportedly for punctuality issues and a lack of commitment to the team.
However, after catching on with the Carolina Panthers last year, Foreman blossomed into a consistent player. Once the Panthers traded Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers at the trade deadline, Foreman was featured in a more prominent role. Named the starter beginning Week 7, Foreman went on a tear over the next few weeks.
Despite sharing the backfield with Chuba Hubbard, Foreman finished the 2022 campaign with 914 yards, five touchdowns, and over four yards per carry. Foreman had five games of over 100 yards or more in 2021. If the Cowboys elect to release Elliott and don’t retain Tony Pollard, Foreman would give the Cowboys, at the very least, a serviceable starter. They would need to pair him with a receiving threat at running back since Foreman isn’t much of a receiving back.
Foreman signed with Carolina for a modest salary of 2M last season and shouldn’t command a figure all that much more than that. Plus, if the Cowboys do sign Foreman, it wouldn’t preclude them from adding another runner in the draft as some mock drafts have cited. Either way, they would be in good hands at running back if Foreman returns home to Texas.