The Dallas Cowboys are expected to release running back Ezekiel Elliott, The Star-Telegram's Clarence Hill Jr. reports. It could be some time, however, before Elliott officially hits free agency.

Elliott probably won't be officially released by the Cowboys until June, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapport. Dallas will likely keep Elliott on the roster for the next two and a half months for salary cap reasons.

By releasing Elliott in June, the Cowboys would clear $10.9 million in salary cap space. If the Cowboys cut Elliott before June, they will only free up $4.86 million under the salary cap.

Just before the 2019 season, the Cowboys signed Elliott to a six-year, $90 million extension. The contract included $50 million guaranteed and made Elliott the NFL's highest-paid running back.

Elliott was set to earn a $10.9 million salary in 2023 and $10 million in 2024. None of that money is guaranteed.

It doesn't come as a surprise that the Cowboys will move on from Elliott. The veteran has been the team's second-best running back for a few years. Dallas used the franchise tag on Tony Pollard, who ran for a career-high 1,007 yards in the 2022 season.

Pollard has averaged 5.1 yards per carry in four seasons with Dallas. Elliott averaged 3.8 yards per carry in 2022.

If Pollard and the Cowboys don't reach a long-term contract agreement, the running back will earn a guaranteed salary just north of $10 million next season. Dallas isn't willing to pay two running backs eight figures each.

Elliott is the third-leading rusher in Cowboys history with 8,262 yards. The 27-year-old has made three Pro Bowls. He was the NFL rushing champion as a rookie in 2016 and then again in 2018.

It was thought that maybe Elliott might restructure his contract, but it doesn't appear that he's going to take a pay cut to stay in Dallas.

Ezekiel Elliott Dallas Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter at AT&T Stadium on October 19, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images