Jerry Jones: ‘Ship hasn’t sailed’ on Cowboys re-signing Ezekiel Elliott
Heading into Thursday night’s first round, it was thought the Cowboys might spend a first-round draft pick on a running back. Instead, the Falcons landed Bijan Robinson with the eighth overall selection, and the Lions caused a stir by taking Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12. Then Day 2 came and went. Two more rounds, and no running back for Dallas.
The Cowboys waited until Saturday- and the 212th selection- to finally address their backfield. Granted, Kansas State’s Deuce Vaughn is an electrifying talent. And yes, the story of his dad (a Cowboys scout) being the one to make the phone call to his son will go down as an all-time draft moment to remember. But the addition of a 5-foot-5 sixth-round pick doesn’t exactly put the obvious final touches on the Cowboys’ running attack after the release of two-time rushing champ Ezekiel Elliott.
Left to wonder why the organization didn’t add anything more than a Day-3 lottery ticket to the RB room, Cowboys fans were offered a tantalizing nugget by the team owner late Saturday. Jerry Jones suggested that maybe the biggest addition to the ground game wouldn’t come via the draft, but through a post-draft re-signing of the club’s third-all-time leading rusher.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on possibly trying to re-sign Ezekiel Elliott: “The ship hasn’t sailed there. We haven’t made a decision at all. As far as our interest in Zeke, nothing we did today changes that. I haven’t ruled out Zeke.”
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) April 29, 2023
“The ship hasn’t sailed there,” Jones said, regarding Elliott. “I haven’t ruled out Zeke.”
Elliott was released on March 15 and has yet to land with a new club. Jones has frequently stated his affinity for Elliott, and this was not the first time he’s publicly floated the idea of a reunion. Quarterback Dak Prescott similarly lamented the loss of his best friend and has suggested there would be widespread support within the building to bring Elliott back on a new contract.
For the best local Austin news, sports, entertainment and culture coverage, subscribe to the Austin American-Statesman.
Elliott’s No. 21 jersey has already been re-issued to new cornerback Stephon Gilmore, but giving Elliott new digits would be a minor detail in the grand scheme of things. Working out more cost-effective terms and determining a new role for Elliott within the offense would be of far greater importance.
But after watching several teams draft plug-and-play starting ballcarriers- and seeing the defending NFC champion Eagles upgrade their roster even further by pulling off a mid-draft trade for D’Andre Swift- Cowboys fans can’t be blamed for grabbing at any scrap of hope they can find regarding the team’s plans for the position in 2023.
Even if that hope comes in the form of the guy they just sent packing.
Updated Cowboys roster, depth chart following 2023 draft
WATCH: Cowboys RB Deuce Vaughn gets draft call from scout dad Chris
Cowboys select South Carolina WR Jalen Brooks with No. 244 pick