5 reasons why the Eagles should sign Ezekiel Elliott in free agency
In news that can only be described as shocking, Ezekiel Elliott has listed the Eagles as a free agent finalist for his services after his release by the Cowboys.
Elliott, 27, was released after eight seasons in Dallas as he was set to count $16.7 million against the salary cap with a $10.9 million non-guaranteed base salary.
Elliott finished his career in Dallas with 1,881 carries for 8,262 yards and 68 rushing touchdowns. He caught 305 passes for 1,336 yards and 12 touchdowns and will now look to sign with either Philadelphia, the New York Jets, or the Cincinnati Bengals.
With Elliott set to decide next week, here are five reasons he should sign with the Eagles.
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Only a handful of teams in the NFL with the culture could absorb a once-hated rival joining a Super Bowl contender.
Philadelphia is a gold standard organization for a reason, and the presence of Jason Kelce, Hurts, Lane Johnson, Fletcher Cox, and others would allow Elliott to meld into an already potent lineup without any friction or ego involved.
The Eagles also do things by a committee in the backfield, and Nick Sirianni could undoubtedly carve out a role for the hard-running Elliott while ciphering carries from Jalen Hurts in the process.
Jalen Hurts durability
Nfl Super Bowl Lvii Kansas City Chiefs Vs Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles lost both games that Jalen Hurts missed with injury in 2022.
As a massive contract extension looms, Nick Sirianni and offensive coordinator Brian Johnson must emphasize less running from their franchise quarterback.
Philadelphia has the NFL’s top rushing offense, primarily due to the franchise having the top offensive line in football.
Adding Elliott to a core that includes Rashaad Penny, Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott would allow the Birds to continue their second-half domination of the opposing teams.
Must see TV
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Cowboys have a record of 12-8 against the Eagles since 2013 and split both meetings in 2022.
Their matchups are always nationally televised in primetime or the late afternoon headliner, and Elliott joining Philadelphia to face his former team would be must-see TV.
Mandatory Credit: Patrick Breen/The Republic via USA TODAY Sports
The former Ohio State star had a career-low 876 rushing yards in 2022, but he scored 12 touchdowns, and his presence could elevate an offense that dominated on 3rd and short or 4th downs.
The Eagles are one of the NFL’s most efficient teams on fourth down because they’re almost impossible to stop when attempting a quarterback sneak.
Philadelphia’s version includes two running backs behind quarterback Jalen Hurts in a semi-victory formation. Upon the snap of the football, Hurts uses his powerful legs to push forward, and the two players behind offer some assistance.
That play could be outlawed in the coming weeks, and adding Elliott could give Sirianni a just as efficient wrinkle for those scenarios.
Weaken a rival
(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)
Even as he gets older in NFL years, Elliott is still among the top short-yardage backs in the NFL, and he’s excellent at pass protection, something that’ll benefit Jalen Hurts and the Eagles going forward.
The addition would also subtract from a division rival, and Elliott has had success against Philadelphia.
In 12 career games against the Eagles, Elliott has 233 carries for 1,107 yards and seven rushing touchdowns.