The most recent update in the saga of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s contract addresses one of the key hot-button topics. While we know Elliott wants a new deal, it appears that to avoid a holdout, the star running back is looking for more money than Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley.
Elliott (not surprisingly) hopes to eclipse Gurley’s four-year, $57.5M deal, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports.
Ezekiel Elliott No-Shows for Cowboys’ Team Plane
NFL Network reporter Jane Slater revealed that Elliott was not on the Cowboys’ team plane Thursday afternoon. She elaborated on NFL Network that she believes he’ll be there by Friday morning.
This will certainly complicate contract negotiations between the team and Elliott. A holdout is looking more likely than not heading into the start of camp. Instead of arriving with the team in Oxnard, CA on Thursday, he’ll be on his own to make the trip.
Drama or Organized Chaos?
The Cowboys could potentially let one of the best running backs in the league slip from their grasp if they don’t have steady contact with Elliott. It’s entirely possible for Elliott and his representation to be responsive to the Cowboys’ attempts to reach them.
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In three seasons with the Cowboys, Elliott has rushed for over 4,000 yards (1,333 yards per season). Since his rookie season in 2016 when he had 15 rushing touchdowns, the 24-year-old hasn’t eclipsed double-digits scores in a single season.
Elliott has built up plenty of steam as a pass-catching back, with 32, 26 and 77 receptions in each season, respectively.
In 2018, he proved to be more versatile for the Cowboys offense. Under offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Elliott will remain the focal point of the offense this season. If they decide to spread the field more, Elliott has shown in pass protection and as a receiver that he can be relied on by Prescott as a safety blanket for big conversions.
Elliott also projects well as a fantasy football player in PPR (point per reception) formats. His uptick in receptions gives high upside to a guy that has the ability to take over games.
The Cowboys have too much to lose by letting Elliott walk. Cowboys fans would be up in arms, and there’s been virtually no talk of the team letting the star leave town. They are also dealing with looming contract negotiations involving quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper.
Prescott was confirmed on the plane on Thursday and is set to make $2 million this season on his rookie deal. Cooper is reportedly in no rush to get his extension done. He’s letting the market settle itself out with the contracts of Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones, New Orleans Saints’ Michael Thomas, and Kansas City Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill.
Once one of these players signs a deal, the rest of the dominos should fall as the team sees how much the first deal costs. Those three players are crucial to the Cowboys’ success this season. However, if it’s too costly, they may not be able to retain all three.
If owner Jerry Jones opens up his wallet for the whole trio, the team would have the highest-paid players at each of the three respective positions.
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