NFC East shakeups: Cowboys cut Ezekiel Elliott, Eagles part ways with Darius Slay
Major changes are happening in the NFC East.
Two of Washington’s rivals made noticeable roster decisions Wednesday as the Dallas Cowboys plan to release longtime running back Ezekiel Elliott, while Philadelphia will part ways with star cornerback Darius Slay, according to multiple reports.
Dallas will move on from Elliott after seven seasons. Once arguably the best running back in the NFL, the 27-year-old saw his production dip this past season as he finished with 876 yards on 3.8 yards per carry — both career lows. Elliott had been seemingly supplanted by teammate Tony Pollard, who received the franchise tag this month after a standout season.
Elliott’s release will also save the Cowboys quite a bit of money as the move, designated as a post-June 1 cut, will clear more than $10 million in cap space. The running back signed a six-year, $90 million extension in 2019.
Philadelphia’s decision to move on from Slay, meanwhile, comes as much more of a surprise. The 32-year-old was one of the league’s top corners last season and helped a loaded Eagles defense reach the Super Bowl. But Philadelphia recently re-signed star cornerback James Bradberry to a three-year, $38 million contract, paving the way for the team to move on from Slay. The Eagles had previously given the cornerback permission to seek a trade and will reportedly now release him after failing to renegotiate his contract.
Slay spent three seasons with the Eagles after being traded from Detroit in 2020. The 2013 second-rounder played his first seven seasons with the Lions, in which he earned an All-Pro bid in 2017.
Slay becomes the latest Eagles defender to now move on after Philadelphia’s Super Bowl campaign. Linebacker T.J. Edwards joined the Chicago Bears in free agency, defensive tackle Javon Hargrave agreed to a four-year, $82 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers and safety Marcus Epps went to the Las Vegas Raiders. The Eagles also lost defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon after he was hired to coach the Arizona Cardinals.