Dak Prescott on Ezekiel Elliott: I can’t imagine taking the field without him
Cowboys drafted Ezekiel Elliott with fourth overall pick in 2016, with Duck Prescott the arrival of 131 choices later in the same project. The arrival of the running back from Ohio was greeted with great fanfare, while the quarterback from Mississippi was belated.
Only preseason injuries to Kellen Moore and Tony Romo made Prescott the team’s starter, and now, seven years later, Prescott outlived Elliot in Dallas.
The Cowboys officially announced Elliott’s release on Wednesday, something Prescott wasn’t prepared for.
“It’s hard” Prescott said Thursday via TheAthletic.com’s John Machot. “It really is. It’s hard. Playing the game with my brother. Having the opportunity to start in the NFL, share so many memories and grow into a man in this organization, I really can’t imagine going on the field without him. That’s something I don’t know.” whether it completely amazed me.
“Obviously, I talked to him. I’m in pain. I’m sure he is. But it’s more important for me to just be able to support him. I know he has more options. I love this guy. I’m proud of him. I’m his number one supporter no matter what.”
There is a “small” chance that Elliott will return at a significantly reduced price. The Cowboys were never going to keep Elliott, with a base salary of $10.9 million and a cap of $16.72 million for 2023, without owing him any more guaranteed money.
Even knowing this was coming didn’t prepare Prescott for Wednesday’s trade.
Elliott and Prescott quickly became friends when they arrived as newcomers. Now their paths are likely to diverge.
With the arrival of Mike McCarthy as head coach in 2020, only 10 players remain.
“To hear how much it flipped, 10 is a big number at the moment,” Prescott said. “I did not expect this day to come. It’s part of the business.”
This offseason, the Cowboys also said goodbye to another close friend of Prescott’s, Moore, who is now the Chargers’ offensive coordinator after a mutual breakup.
“The departure of all these guys, so many close friends, good teammates, not winning a championship, and the urgency was there,” Prescott said. “But now that it has been flipped, I realized that I could blink and my career could be over.
“Urgent now. Now or never. It is so simple. No embellishment.”
Prescott and Elliott played six postseason games together, but only won two and never advanced beyond the divisional round. Prescott was asked if the change was “bittersweet”.
“It’s hard to say now that it’s sweet,” Prescott said. “I know sweet things are coming. I’m a very optimistic guy, don’t get me wrong. Change for the better. I have always said this. It’s hard for me to see it at this moment. But I know it will happen. And I’m excited when that happens.”