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Dallas Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott 'mutually agreed' to part ways after 7 seasons

Dallas Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott 'mutually agreed' to part ways after 7 seasons
Dallas Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott 'mutually agreed' to part ways after 7 seasons 01:37

FRISCO ( – The 214 era in Dallas is over – after seven seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, running back Ezekiel Elliott has been released. 

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones confirmed in a statement that the team has parted ways with Elliott. 

"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," Jones said. "This is one of the toughest parts of operating a team. Moments like this come, and extremely difficult decisions and choices are made."

"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," Jones continued. "That will never change."

According to CBS Sports, the team was unable to come to an agreement on a reworked contract with Elliott. The running back was set for a $16.7 million cap hit, and this move will open up at least $4.9 million for their 2023 cap.

Elliott has four years remaining on a massive six-year, $90 million extension he signed in 2019, CBS Sports confirmed. 

Elliott has 8,262 career yards rushing, third on the Dallas list behind Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, the NFL's career leading rusher, and Tony Dorsett.

"When I first saw the news today, I was a little shocked, but it is a business I get it," said Cowboys dan Will Manley.

Soon, Elliott's mural at The Star in Frisco will be coming down and merchandise branded with No. 21 will be discounted. 

Pro Image Sports owner David Behrmann says he is trying to get his money's worth out of what he's already paid the Cowboys.

"It's an immediate loss of value," he said. "Now that he left the team, it will definitely impact the resale of his products with his name and number on them for sure."

Elliott was an instant star as the fourth overall pick out of Ohio State in 2016, leading the NFL with 1,631 yards as a rookie and helping the Cowboys to the top seed in the NFC alongside fellow first-year sensation Prescott, who edged his teammate for 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Elliott's second season was interrupted by a six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations. Elliott fought the ban in federal court, but abandoned the two-month effort 10 games into the 2017 season.

Despite the suspension, Elliott still led the league in yards rushing per game, then added a second rushing title in 2018 when he and Prescott won their first playoff game together, a wild-card victory over Seattle.

Injuries slowed Elliott somewhat in his final two seasons, although he rarely missed games. He had career lows of 876 yards and a 3.8-yard average per carry last season.

"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," said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

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