Would Zeke impact cap, running game?

Would Zeke impact cap, running game?
Would Zeke impact cap, running game?

I’ve heard that the Cowboys might be getting Ezekiel Elliott back. If so, how would he affect the salary cap? Also, how would he affect the team’s run game after losing Tyler Biadasz and Tyron Smith? – Maddox Phillips/Shallowater, TX

Nick Eatman: I’m not saying it won’t happen but I’m certainly not saying that it will. I’ve asked around about this potential move during the last couple of weeks and every time the answer is about the same. No, it doesn’t seem likely but then again, no one is shutting it down completely. What makes sense about it is there actually seems to be a good need for Zeke’s role on this team. The Cowboys don’t have any depth at all at running back and even if they draft someone, it’s hard to think they’ll get a thumper-type back who knows how to get the tough yards. That’s exactly what they’d get in a player like Zeke. And right now, Stephon Gilmore is not signed and might be headed elsewhere. If anything, that would even open up No. 21 again. So I can see it making sense for a few reasons, but even with that, it’d be hard to think Zeke comes back again. But at this point, I think I’d be fine with it. It wouldn’t be an expensive deal and he’d likely help in the running game but also to help mentor some of the other young backs that are likely to be added.

Kurt: Yes, there’s been talk that an Ezekiel Elliot reunion is being considered, but at this point I don’t think anything is completely off the table when it comes to fixing the ground game. However, I’m not real sure Zeke would have a greater impact on either the salary cap or the running attack. He is already going to count more than $6 million in dead money toward the cap, so perhaps that can be worked into a team-friendly deal. And that’s the key here – it needs to be team friendly (the Patriots gave Elliott a 1-year, $3 million contract last season). Because just how much of an impact is Zeke really going to have on the offense, especially with the question marks on the offensive line? In his 2022 season with the Cowboys, the team had 12th ranked offensive line, according to Pro Football Focus, and Elliott averaged 3.8 yards per carry running behind them. Will the 2024 version of the offensive line be better? He would also likely be in a complementary role to whatever young running back handles the bulk of the load, offering veteran leadership while perhaps serving as a short-yardage weapon. So a Zeke return will probably get fans excited and he has always been well-liked in the locker room, but as far as his on-field impact, it might be pretty similar to the five total touchdowns, and the 10.8 carries and 37.8 rushing yards he averaged per game last season with New England.

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