Ezekiel Elliott: My priority was doing what I could to return to the Cowboys

After a season in New England, running back Ezekiel Elliott is back with the team that drafted him in Dallas.

Even after the Cowboys released Elliott last year, he wanted to return to the place where he spent the first seven years of his career.

“This was my priority. Doing what I could do to get back here,” Elliott said Monday, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I have a lot left to accomplish here. I’m excited to get back with the fellas and chase that ring.”

Elliott, 28, rushed for a career-low 642 yards with just three touchdowns for New England last season. He also caught 51 passes for 313 yards with two TDs while playing 51 percent of New England's offensive snaps.

He noted that even as the Patriots struggled last season, he felt healthy after dealing with a torn PCL in 2022.

"I think I’m good,” Elliott said. “My body felt really good last year. My body felt good all of last year. I got my physical. My PCL looks to be healed. So health wise, I think that I’m definitely better than when I left."

Elliott made five starts for New England in 2023 and said he still feels like he can be a starter heading into 2024.

“I got the chance to start down the stretch last year. I felt comfortable in that role," Elliott said. "I looking forward to doing what I need to do for this team.”

Plus, Elliott will be back with quarterback Dak Prescott, who was also selected in Dallas’ 2016 draft class.

“From 2016, we’ve been working on building this franchise to get a chance to win the Super Bowl,” Elliott said. “That is obviously the priority. That’s the bar.”

Elliott rushed for 8,262 yards with 68 touchdowns in his first seven seasons with the Cowboys, leading the league in rushing as a rookie and in 2018.