Ezekiel Elliott in Cowboys loss to 49ers. Jan 22, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs against San Francisco 49ers defensive end Kerry Hyder Jr. (92) and defensive tackle Kevin Givens (90) during the third quarter of a NFC divisional round game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys fell short on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. The loss led to some major questions regarding the future of star running back Ezekiel Elliott in Dallas.

Elliott has four years remaining on his contract. The Cowboys, though, can potentially opt out this offseason if they decide that they no longer want to pay his large contract moving forward.

Elliott’s production dropped considerably this season. That, plus the emergence of fellow running back Tony Pollard, makes it unlikely that Elliott will return to Dallas without taking a major pay cut.

Elliott discussed his future in Dallas after Sunday’s loss. He detailed that he would like to return next season, but that he doesn’t “have a crystal ball” to see whether or not that will be the case.

“I’ve definitely thought about it,” Elliott said via Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I want to be here. I don’t have a crystal ball. Can’t predict the future, but definitely want to be here.”

Sources close to the situation also believe that Ezekiel Elliott is willing to take a pay cut in order to stay, according to Michael Gehiken of Dallasnews.com.

Dallas has a tricky situation on its hands. Like Elliott, Pollard is set to become a free agent this offseason.

Paying both players a considerable amount seems to be highly unlikely. So, a choice between Pollard and Elliott seems inevitable.

The answer of who to pay seems to be very clear considering the production of both players this year. Despite receiving fewer touches, Pollard ran for 1007 yards while Elliott only racked up 876.

How much of a cut Elliott is willing to take will ultimately decide whether he is playing in Dallas or elsewhere next year.

If it is the end for Elliott, his final play as a Cowboy will not be one that he looks back fondly on, getting lit up playing at center on a strange trick play.

[Dallasnews.com, Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.