Jerry Jones on Ezekiel Elliott's release: 'Zeke’s impact and influence is seared into the Cowboys franchise'

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 04: Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones talks with Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) prior to the National Football League game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys on November 4, 2019 at MetLi

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says the decision to release running back Ezekiel Elliott on Wednesday was not an easy one.

Jones released a lengthy statement about the Cowboys and Elliott parting ways, in which he says the agreement to release the running back was mutual. 

"Zeke’s impact and influence is seared into the Cowboys franchise in a very special and indelible way. He has been a consummate professional and leader that set a tone in our locker room, on the practice field and in the huddle. Zeke defined what a great teammate should be, and anyone that has ever played a team sport would be lucky to have a teammate like Zeke and be much better for it. His commitment and passion for winning is selfless, and the accountability he brings everyday earned the respect of our coaches, his teammates and our entire organization. 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. That carried over into our community as well, with Zeke’s generosity and spirit about giving and caring for others.

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. This is one of the toughest parts of operating a team. Moments like this come, and extremely difficult decisions and choices are made. For the franchise. For me personally. For players too. 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. That will never change."


Ezekiel Elliott released by Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott is the third-leading rusher in Cowboys franchise history behind Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett.

Jones has been one of Elliott's biggest defenders since he was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft for the Cowboys. 

Elliott will now become a free agent.