The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly informed running back Ezekiel Elliott of their decision to release him, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported on Wednesday (March 15).
"End of an era: The #Cowboys have informed former NFL rushing champ Ezekiel Elliott that they are releasing him, per me and @TomPelissero. He’ll be designated as a post-June 1 release to create cap space," Rapoport tweeted.
Elliott, 27, has served as the Cowboys' primary back for the majority of his seven-year NFL career, having been selected by the team at No. 4 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. The former Ohio State standout ranks third in franchise history with 8,262 rushing yards and 68 rushing touchdowns, behind only Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett in both categories, while having also recorded 10,498 all-purpose yards.
Elliott recorded a career-low 876 yards on 231 carries, though tying his second-highest rushing touchdown total (12), while splitting carries with fourth-year back Tony Pollard in 2022. Dallas placed a franchise tag on Pollard -- who led the team with a career-best 1,007 yards -- earlier this month.
The Cowboys will reportedly "save $10.9 million in salary cap space with $5.8 million in dead money" by releasing Elliott, with his contract staying on the books until June 1, though he will be free to sign with any team as a free agent immediately, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Elliott led the NFL in rushing yards during the 2016 and 2018 seasons and was selected as a first-team All-Pro in 2016, a second-team All-Pro in 218 and a three-time Pro Bowler in 2016, 2018 and 2019.