What coaches are saying about landing former Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott
It’s been almost two weeks since the Dallas Cowboys released running back Ezekiel Elliott and the two-time NFL rushing champion remains a free agent.
And it doesn’t look he is close to finding a new home.
Elliott has a wish list of potential destinations, including the Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets.
There are other teams with natural connections like the Los Angeles Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers where former Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and running backs coach Skip Peete have landed.
And there is the Buffalo Bills, who could use some reinforcements behind running back James Cook and Damien Harris as their top two backs.
During a breakfast press conference with the AFC coaches during the NFL Owner’s Meetings at the Arizona Biltmore on Tuesday, no one appeared to be chomping at the bit to add Elliott to their roster.
When asked about if his team had expressed in any interest in Elliott, Bills coach Sean McDermott said “We are just taking it one day at a time.”
Bengals coach Zac Taylor didn’t offer a yes or no Elliott when asked a point blank question about his team’s placing his wish list.
“There are a lot of great players (in free agency),” Taylor said. “We will do our due diligence and try to find the best fits for us.”
Jets coach Robert Saleh said his team has studied the free agent list of running backs but they are happy with the guys they on the roster, despite lead back Breece Hall recovering from a torn ACL and uncertain to be ready for the start of the season.
Chargers coach Brandon Staley had the best non-answer while acknowledging the natural connections with Moore and quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier, also a recent transplant from Dallas, in the building.
“We do homework on all the players in the league,” Staley said. “I think with Kellen and Doug both been in Dallas, we know Zeke well. We’ve competed against Zeke, you know this year in the training camp and then last season. I’ve known about him for a long time. So a lot of respect for him and we’ll see where it goes.”
NFC coaches don’t talk at the owners meetings until Tuesday.
And the Eagles and Buccaneers remain possible options.
He would like to get signed to a team this week. But the longer it takes to find a destination makes waiting until after the 2023 NFL Draft, set for April 27-29, a distinct possibility.
Teams generally circle back to veterans in free agency when they don’t get everything they want in the draft.