Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys running back, who is trying to find his new home has put out a ground rule for whoever signs him. “I want my #15 back,” Elliott wrote on Twitter.
It was the number Elliott wore in college, running for more than 3,000 yards and 43 touchdowns on 592 carries as he helped the Ohio State Buckeyes to their 2014 national championship, their eighth title in school history.
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When Elliott was drafted in 2016, running back could only wear jersey numbers 20-49, so he chose No. 21, which he has worn throughout his NFL career. In 2021, the NFL changed its jersey number rules, allowing running backs to wear any number from 1-49 and 80-89. So now Elliot could wear No. 15 again.
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First, he needs to find a team, a process that could prove to be a bit of a tough one considering the state of the NFL running back market. If that team has a player already wearing No. 15, Elliott would have to persuade that player to give him No. 15, which in the NFL usually means writing a teammate a five-figure check. Apparently, Elliott is ready for that expense, even though he will make a lot less money this year.
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With the NFL adopting a new system for jersey numbering at every position, the player now has direct autonomy when picking out their new designation. Statistically, No. 15 is not one of the more prevalent numbers on NFL rosters.
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The Eagles, the Bengals, and the Jets are the three sides that might just give No. 15 to him. When Elliott was released from the Cowboys, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were named as a potential landing spot. The Buffalo Bills have also been named as a potential suitor for Elliott in free agency. It will be interesting to see if he ends up with the Buccaneers or Bills. However, when he has a new destination, fans can expect him to return to his college number.