The Dallas Cowboys released Ezekiel Elliott, making the running back a free agent, the team announced Wednesday.
Elliott, 27, was set to count $16.7 million against the salary cap with a $10.9 million non-guaranteed base salary. Elliott will be designated a post-June 1 cut, which means the club will save nearly $11 million against the 2023 cap but he will count a little more than $6 million against the 2024 cap. The Cowboys will not get the cap credit until June 1.
The Cowboys selected Elliott with the No. 4 pick in 2016 with the idea of him prolonging the career of Tony Romo with one of the best offensive lines in football. They never played a regular-season game together, with Romo suffering a back injury in the preseason, but Elliott helped fellow rookie Dak Prescott lead the Cowboys to a 13-3 record.
In 2019, Elliott signed a six-year extension worth $90 million that included $50 million in guaranteed money, but his numbers fell off the past three seasons, topping 1,000 yards (with 1,002) only once — in 2021, when the league expanded to a 17-game schedule.
He had 26 100-yard rushing games in his first four seasons but had just three in the next three seasons, including none in 2022. Last season, he joined Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett as the only backs in team history to reach 10,000 all-purpose yards.
Elliott turns 28 in July. He finished his career with the Cowboys with 1,881 carries for 8,262 yards and 68 rushing touchdowns. He caught 305 passes for 1,336 yards and 12 touchdowns. His 80 career touchdowns is the third most in team history behind Smith (164) and Dorsett (86).