‘Consummate professional’: Jerry Jones releases official statement on Ezekiel Elliott’s release

Not every departing Cowboys player gets an official statement from the club to mark the occasion, but not every player means what Ezekiel Elliott has meant to the franchise.

The Cowboys officially released the beloved star running back on Wednesday after seven seasons, two league rushing titles, and a truckload of highlight-reel memories for Cowboys fans.

Team owner Jerry Jones had this to say about the decision to move forward without the playmaker that Stephen Jones famously called “the straw that stirs our drink” in Dallas:

“Zeke’s impact and influence is seared into the Cowboys franchise in a very special and indelible way. He has been a consummate professional and leader that set a tone in our locker room, on the practice field and in the huddle. Zeke defined what a great teammate should be, and anyone that has ever played a team sport would be lucky to have a teammate like Zeke and be much better for it. His commitment and passion for winning is selfless, and the accountability he brings everyday earned the respect of our coaches, his teammates and our entire organization. He wore the Cowboys Star with pride and purpose every single time he put it on, and we’re a better franchise because of the example he set for veterans and rookies alike. That carried over into our community as well, with Zeke’s generosity and spirit about giving and caring for others.

“We have mutually agreed with Zeke that the best decision for everyone is that he will be able to experience free agency, and we can increase our flexibility and options as well. This is one of the toughest parts of operating a team. Moments like this come, and extremely difficult decisions and choices are made. For the franchise. For me personally. For players too. We will always have a special place and love for Zeke and what he means to our Cowboys family, both as a person and a player. That will never change.”

A former fourth-overall draft pick, Elliott ends his Dallas tenure with 8,262 rushing yards, behind only Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith in Cowboys history.

But apart from his stats, his punishing running style, and his considerable toughness in playing through injuries, much of Elliott’s legacy with the team will be his leadership in the locker room, the way he handled himself with the media, and his commitment to community work off the field.

Elliott is now free to sign with another club, and several others have already been named as possible destinations for the 27-year-old free agent.

It’s a sad day for many in Cowboys Nation as a true fan favorite appears to be riding off for new pastures.

But it’s worth pointing out that Elliott and the Cowboys are also free to restructure an entirely new (and cap-friendlier) deal that would bring him back as a short-yardage/red-zone threat and backup to Tony Pollard.


Now released, Ezekiel Elliott will go down as one of Cowboys' all-time greats

Cowboys expected to release Elliott today as free agency officially begins

Cowboys 2023 Free Agency Tracker with contract details, comp pick ledger

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire