Former Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will return to AT&T Stadium this weekend as a member of the New England Patriots.
Elliott, who was drafted by the Cowboys with the No. 4 overall pick out of Ohio State in 2016, was a two-time NFL rushing leader, All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler while playing the first seven seasons of his career in Dallas.
Elliott has the third most rushing yards in Cowboys' franchise history (8,262) behind Tony Dorsett (12,036) and Emmitt Smith (17,162) and the third most touchdowns in team history (80) behind Dorsett (86) and Smith (164).
Those numbers, combined with Elliott's impact in the locker room and off the field, makes him a consideration for the Cowboys Ring of Honor, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan.
"I do. Yes I do. I sure do," Jones said when asked by the K&C Masterpiece if he viewed Elliott as worthy of a future Ring of Honor induction. "It's what he did for the team. Frankly, I thought he was very influential in the image of the Cowboys. And I mean that positively. Away from the field or as to the field as it was perceived with our fans. Just the entertainment of the Cowboys. To me, I look to that when I think about the Ring of Honor. Not only, what he did with stats on the field, not only what he did as a punishing runner, but also what he did to lift the franchise. ... Zeke lifted the whole franchise."
During his Tuesday appearance on 'Shan and RJ' on 105.3 The Fan, Jones hinted that the team would honor Elliott prior to Sunday's 3:25 p.m. kickoff against New England.
“I don’t want to blow a surprise, and that’s a good enough answer for you,” he quipped.
Jones compared Elliott's return Sunday to the time Smith returned to North Texas as a member of the Arizona Cardinals in 2003 and said he hoped that Elliott would return to Dallas before he signed with the Patriots.
"I just can't describe the positive thing that Zeke brings. It's a concern for me, relative to playing the Patriots. He'll add an octave to it. I'm talking about just his demeanor in the dressing room, his demeanor in practice, all of that. In a way, it was as powerful as when you see him get his body lean and get down and lower that center of gravity and punish those tacklers. I miss him. He talked about how he didn't hear a lot from me. We did talk after he had made the decision. There was a lot of me that wanted it to ... I wanted the best for him, of course, but still, I want the best for the Cowboys. And I was kind of laying in the weeds thinking that it might not go good for him with another team, and we would be able to do something at the end. And, of course, I knew that wasn't going to be the case when Bill Belichick called about him and was asking all the right questions."