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McCarthy: Cowboys 'absolutely' open to Elliott reunion

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Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said he's "absolutely" open to the possibility of running back Ezekiel Elliott rejoining the team.

"I think you always keep the door open. Absolutely," McCarthy said Monday, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

The Cowboys released Elliott after seven seasons earlier in March, a decision McCarthy said was "very difficult" to make.

"No one felt good about that," he said. "I mean, Zeke has such a bright light to him, too. He's a great teammate. There's so much love for him in the building, but you get to these spots, you know, the longer you're in this league, these are tough decisions."

Elliott, a 2016 first-round pick, burst onto the scene, establishing himself as the league's leading rusher in two of his first three seasons. He ran for 8,262 yards and 68 touchdowns while adding 305 receptions for 2,336 yards and 12 scores during his tenure with the Cowboys.

The 27-year-old hasn't been able to match his production from the start of his career. He turned in career lows in 2022 with 876 rushing yards and 3.8 yards per carry while adding 12 touchdowns.

The veteran tailback reportedly whittled his list of finalists for a new team down to the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, and Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys saved nearly $10 million by designating Elliott as a post-June 1 cut.

Elliott also likely became expendable because of Tony Pollard's emergence last season.

Dallas placed the franchise tag on Pollard, who recently signed the one-year tender that will pay him just over $10 million in 2023. The 26-year-old posted a career-high 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns last year to earn his first Pro Bowl nod.

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