Cowboys, RB Ezekiel Elliott reportedly reuniting on one-year, $3 million deal

After a year away, running back Ezekiel Elliott is coming home to Dallas.

Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys are reuniting, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, though Zeke is taking a pay cut this time around. After making more than $70 million in his career with the Cowboys, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Elliott is returning on a one-year, $3 million deal with $2 million guaranteed.

Elliott, 28, spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Cowboys after they drafted him in 2016 with the fourth overall pick. He had several outstanding seasons with Dallas, but when the Cowboys drafted running back Tony Pollard in 2019, it seemed like owner Jerry Jones had handpicked Elliott's successor. So they let Elliott leave after the 2022 season, and he signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots.

But Pollard didn't get the Cowboys any closer to that Super Bowl trophy and signed a three-year deal with the Tennessee Titans during the offseason. And Elliott had a decent year with the Patriots, but hadn't yet signed a deal for the 2024 season.

So it wasn't a major surprise when it was reported in late March that Elliott and the Cowboys were both interested in a reunion. Then the two parties reportedly met the day before the 2024 NFL Draft to further discuss their interest in each other. And when Dallas didn't use any of their draft picks on a running back, a position they needed to fill, it was obvious where the Cowboys would turn next.

The massive reduction in Elliott's salary is reflective of the running back market, but also of Elliott's performance level. He's not nearly as productive now as he was even just two years ago. He hasn't run for 1,000 yards since 2021 and averaged just under 38 yards per game in 2023. But Zeke is comfortable in Dallas. If he has more to give, the Cowboys are the team to get it out of him.