Ezekiel Elliott Won't Wear His Old No. 21 Jersey in Second Cowboys Stint

Ezekiel Elliott will not be returning to his former Cowboys jersey number in 2024.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys reunited with running back Ezekiel Elliott this offseason, bringing him back for a second stint with the organization after he spent one season with the New England Patriots in 2023.

There will be one key change for Elliott in his return to the Cowboys, however.

Rather than re-claim the No. 21 jersey he wore throughout his first seven seasons in the NFL, he plans to continue donning the No. 15 that he wore at Ohio State and last year with the Patriots. The No. 15 had been occupied by quarterback Trey Lance in '23, but he's agreed to shed the digits and wear No. 19 in '24, per a team announcement.

Elliott returned to Dallas on a one-year deal with a maximum value of $3 million. He joins a running backs room consisting of Royce Freeman, Rico Dowdle and Deuce Vaughn, and figures to compete for a healthy share of the workload.

The 28-year-old had a down year in '23 with the Patriots, registering career lows with 184 carries, 642 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Across 103 games with the Cowboys from 2016 to '22, Elliott had four seasons with over 1,000 rushing yards and scored a total of 80 touchdowns.

Karl Rasmussen


Karl Rasmussen is a writer on Sports Illustrated’s Breaking & Trending News Team. A University of Oregon alum, his work has appeared on 12up and ClutchPoints. He’s a loyal Tottenham, Jets, Yankees and Ducks fan.