Ezekiell Elliott was once one of the most feared running backs in the entire NFL.
The Dallas Cowboys selected Elliott with the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and he immediately became a superstar, leading the league in rushing as a rookie and making the Pro Bowl in three of his first four seasons.
These days, however, Elliott appears to be a shell of himself.
The 27-year-old averaged just 3.8 yards per attempt in 2022, down from 5.1 in his standout rooking seasons and the lowest of his career.
Dallas parted ways with Elliott following the season, despite having signed him to a six-year, $90 million contract extension in 2019.
Shortly after his release, a list of three teams emerged as potential suitors for Elliott: the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, and Cincinnati Bengals.
Now it appears that list is down to two.
Zac Taylor Implies Bengals Like Won’t Pursue Ezekiel Elliott In Free Agency
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor spoke to local TV station WCPO on Thursday and appeared to rule a move for Elliott.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor addressed the ESPN report that said former Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is considering Cincinnati as one of three finalists. Taylor was the keynote speaker tonight for St. Xavier's 39th annual Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction. @WCPO pic.twitter.com/i0ltmRSm3t
— Mike Dyer (@MikeDyer) March 24, 2023
“There’s a lot of great players that are available right now,” Taylor said. “We like our team where it’s at right now, but it’s always fun when things get thrown around. Sometimes it’s the first you hear of it, but that’s just the way life works.”
Elliott’s counting stats were actually solid for Dallas in 2022. He racked up 876 yards and 12 touchdowns in a tandem with Tony Pollard while still showing impressive pass blocking abilities. But he appears to have lost his burst in the open field.
As a strictly goal-line back, Elliott could prove a nice pick up for some team. But gone are the glory days of him being one of the league’s most dynamic backs.
It just goes to show the short shelf life of running backs in today’s NFL.