Dak Prescott on Ezekiel Elliott: I can’t imagine taking the field without him

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The Cowboys drafted Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall pick in 2016, with Dak Prescott arriving 131 selections later in the same draft. The Ohio State running back’s arrival was greeted with great fanfare, while the Mississippi State quarterback was an afterthought.

Only preseason injuries to Kellen Moore and Tony Romo made Prescott the team’s starter, and now, seven years later, Prescott has outlasted Elliott in Dallas.

The Cowboys made Elliott’s release official Wednesday, something Prescott wasn’t prepared to face.

It’s tough,” Prescott said Thursday, via Jon Machota of TheAthletic.com. “It really is. It’s tough. Playing the game with a brother. Being able to start this NFL career and share so many memories, and grow up as men with this organization, I really can’t imagine taking the field without him. It’s something that I don’t know if it has completely hit me yet.

“Obviously I’ve talked to him. I’m hurt. I’m sure he is. But it’s more important for me to just be able to support him. I know he’s got more opportunities coming his way. I love that guy. Proud of him. I’m the No. 1 supporter for him no matter what.”

There’s a “slim” chance Elliott returns on a greatly reduced deal. The Cowboys never were going to keep Elliott on a $10.9 million base salary and a cap number of $16.72 million for 2023, while owing him no more guaranteed money.

Even knowing it was coming didn’t prepare Prescott for Wednesday’s transaction.

Elliott and Prescott became fast friends after arriving as rookies. Now, they likely go their separate ways.

Only 10 players remain from Mike McCarthy’s arrival as head coach in 2020.

“To hear how much it has turned over, 10 is a big number at this point,” Prescott said. “I didn’t see this day coming. It’s part of the business.”

This offseason, the Cowboys also have said good-bye to another of Prescott’s close friends, Moore, who now is offensive coordinator of the Chargers after a mutual parting.

“Having all those guys depart, so many close friends, good teammates and not win a championship, and the urgency was there,” Prescott said. “But now as that’s turned over, realizing that I might blink and my career might be over with.

“The urgency is now. It’s now or never. It’s as simple as that. No sugarcoating it.”

Prescott and Elliott played six postseason games together, but won only two and never got beyond the divisional round. Prescott was asked whether the change is “bittersweet.”

“It’s tough to say it’s sweet right now,” Prescott said. “I know the sweet is coming. I’m a very optimistic guy, don’t get me wrong. Change is good. I’ve always said that. It’s tough for me to see it in this moment. But I know it’s coming. And I’m excited for when it does.”

34 responses to “Dak Prescott on Ezekiel Elliott: I can’t imagine taking the field without him

  1. That’s nice but I don’t think they’ll be saying that about you when you leave

  2. Everyone knows that Zeke was cooked. He’s lucky to survive 7 yrs. Most RBs get 5 strong yrs. He’s a shell of the player he used to be.

  3. What is this soap opera BS? Dallas will never win another super bowl with the QB saying he can’t imagine taking the field without his beloved Zeke. I think Prescott needs a shrink. He’s not the man for Big D

  4. Time to win some playoff games Dak. $40 million/year. Get better. Do better. Keep quiet.

  5. Zeke is/was the inspirational heart of the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry knows it. Need to find a way to get him back in Dallas at a lower cost.

  6. I do not like the cowboys. But I hate this development. Zeke should come back on a reduced salary or whatever. His playing has tailed off, but he should retire a cowboy.

  7. 2-4 in playoffs (with the two Ws in different seasons) pretty much tells you that all the money spent has not been well spent (to date). Maybe Dak will become more than he’s been,

  8. He essentially did that all 2022. Zeke would run for 2 yards and a cloud of dust.

    3.8 ypc

  9. It will be ok Dak. Ezekiel Elliott actually left 2 or 3 years ago. That kid that came out of Ohio State hasn’t been seen in a while.

  10. There is a guy in my town driving around with a license plate that say’s DAK&ZEK bet he’s not happy as license plates like everything else are not cheap in California

  11. Dak, Your bloated contract is the main reason that Ezekiel cannot stay, perhaps you should pay him to stay out of your salary.

  12. Good riddance. He hasn’t done anything for the last 3 years, Pollard has carried the load pretty much by himself.

  13. I can’t imagine Dallas ever winning anything meaningful when this bum keeps throwing it to the other team.

  14. Dak has 2 more [2023-2024] seasons to bring home the elusive Lombardi Trophy back to Big D that hasn’t been home since 1995 season.

  15. Dak, you can take your league leading INT stats and imagine yourself a former Cowboy like Zeke.

  16. Because he needs someone else to share the blame with when they choke and miss the playoffs again

  17. Personal loyalty is human. But in terms of results, there’s not much to be nostalgic about. Two playoff wins in 7 seasons. It’s been 5 years since Elliott either scored a TD or reached more than 70 yards of total offense in a playoff game. He got paid and stopped mattering.

    It feels like the game is becoming more about what kinds of contracts players get than about the game itself. Elliott feels like a turning point along that path, with Prescott right on his heels.

  18. It’s kind of funny because he hasn’t been all that good for a few years now plus he’s missed quite a bit of time hurt but everybody talks about him like he was totally dominating games and out there every single week.

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