3 reasons the Cleveland Browns signing Ezekiel Elliott makes no sense

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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It was bound to happen. When Ezekiel Elliott, a former superstar at Ohio State, was released by the Dallas Cowboys, it felt like only a matter of time before Cleveland Browns fans started asking for him to join the Dawg Pound.

After deciding against re-signing Kareem Hunt and not taking a running back in the 2023 NFL Draft, the whispers about Zeke have become loud cries. There are those who are still love what he did for the Buckeyes and believe he's what Cleveland needs as the RB2 behind Nick Chubb.

Even our good friend Nick Pedone recently tweeted about it, saying "People don't wanna admit" that this move makes sense.

Nothing against Nick here, but the fact is — this move really wouldn't make sense. And it doesn't make sense for three reasons.

Elliott's game is declining worse than Kareem Hunt

Over the past four seasons, the Browns have had one of the best running back duos in the NFL with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. However, reports surfaced before the 2023 offseason that they were moving on from Hunt, who they felt lost a step.

If that's true of Hunt, it's even more prevalent for Elliott, even if fans don't want to believe it.

Sure, he had 876 yards and 12 touchdowns for Dallas but he was being force-fed the ball to appease owner/GM/team doctor Jerry Jones. The Cowboys wanted Elliott's stats to justify his cartoonishly inflated contract, so he became a touchdown vulture while Tony Pollard did all of the heavy lifting.

Looking beyond the bulk numbers, Elliott had his lowest yards per rush (3.8) and yards per game (58.4). Heck, even the 876 rushing yards were the worst of his entire career.

Despite this, the dominant argument is that Elliott is great as a third-down back, especially when it comes to receiving. That might have been true years ago but Barry Schuck of Dawgs by Nature puts that notion to bed, highlighting that Elliott was poor as both a runner and receiver in 2022.

"In 2022, Elliott ranked 24th. According to Pro Football Focus(PFF), he was listed towards the basement in almost every category for a running back, whether rushing or receiving. His overall grade was 71.9." — Schuck, Dawgs by Nature

Shuck added that Zeke had just 17 receptions for 92 yards with no touchdowns. This was a very low average of just 5.4 yards per reception, and that came on a very pass-happy offense in Dallas.

So if the Browns felt Hunt lost a step with his 3.8 yards per carry average, he was still ahead of Elliott with 35 receptions for 210 yards — which was a 6.0 average.