May 25, 2024

Ezekiel Elliott changes jersey number: ‘I just kind of look at it as a different era’


getty-ezekiel-elliott-cowboys.jpg

Ezekiel Elliott is back with the Dallas Cowboys. But the running back will sport a new look when he takes the field next, as the NFL announced Wednesday, with the former Pro Bowler exchanging his No. 21 jersey for No. 15.

The 28-year-old Elliott recently passed a physical to finalize his one-year contract to return to Dallas, and the Cowboys even shared photos of the ball-carrier wearing his old No. 21 at spring workouts earlier Wednesday. Since then, however, the former NFL rushing leader has managed to secure No. 15, which he wore at Ohio State, from backup quarterback Trey Lance. The latter will be switching to No. 19 to accommodate Elliott, per ESPN.

His jersey number change is part of his understanding of going from the team’s clear-cut, lead running back to being a contributor to a rotation in 2024. Elliott switched to his collegiate number from his Ohio State days, No. 15, with the Patriots in 2023 and that will remain in 2024. 

“I just kind of look at it as a different era,” Elliott told CBS Sports on Wednesday night when asked about the jersey change from 21 to 15. “I wore 15 last year. Once they made the rule that running backs could wear single numbers on the jerseys, I knew I wanted to switch, so it worked out. We’ve got unfinished business. I’m here to chase a ring.”

Elliott is best known for rocking the No. 21 in Dallas, sporting the digits for his entire seven-year run with the Cowboys from 2016-2022. But he won a national championship wearing No. 15 for the Buckeyes, for whom he also topped 1,800 rushing yards twice. Elliott also wore No. 15 during his one-year stint with the New England Patriots in 2023, when he totaled a career-low 184 carries for 642 yards and three touchdowns.

Back in Dallas, Elliott figures to be a front-runner for lead running-back duties in 2024, with former teammate Tony Pollard leaving for the Tennessee Titans in free agency. Reserves Rico Dowdle, Deuce Vaughn and Royce Freeman are also expected to compete for snaps this summer.





Source