This offseason, the Dallas Cowboys released running back Ezekiel Elliott, saving almost $11 million by doing so. Head coach Mike McCarthy said the decision was not easy, but that the tough decision had to be made. Elliott was set to be a $16.7 million cap hit in the 2023 season.
The Cowboys never offered Elliott a reduced deal on purpose, saying it would be offensive to the running back. Dallas executive Stephen Jones explained the team's decision-making this offseason.
"The last thing we want to do is do anything that would be insulting to a player, to a great player, like Zeke, who was one of the best players to ever put on a Cowboys uniform," Jones said (via Yahoo Sports). "There are sensitivities when you get into making offers."
Now Elliott is able to shop around to see how other teams value him and see what offers he will get.
"Sometimes the best thing is to let them get a feel for what the market is," Jones said. "When you're talking about great players — and that's what makes them great: They think a lot, not in a selfish way, but they perceive themselves as a great player and they are. It just becomes how do you make the business work. It always boils down to that unfortunately."
There is still a chance Elliott could be back with the Cowboys in 2023 if he does not find a spot on another team. It has been two weeks since Dallas released him and he has yet to find his next landing spot.
"Wish him nothing but the best if it turns out he didn't return," Jones said. "But we never rule anything out around here."