What little progress was made between the Dallas Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott purportedly has been undone with a simple “no.”
According to FOX Sports Radio’s Clay Travis, Elliott turned down the latest contract offer from the Cowboys, which, ESPN’s Ed Werder claimed Friday, would have made the two-time Pro Bowler the NFL’s second-highest-paid running back, behind only Los Angeles‘ Todd Gurley (four years, $57.5 million, $45 million guaranteed).
“Ezekiel Elliott has turned down the Dallas Cowboys’ offer to make him the second-highest paid running back in the NFL,” Travis said on his Outkick the Coverage show. “Zeke has made an utterly ridiculous decision.”
Travis, more talking-head than true news-breaker, ripped into Elliott for rejecting the lucrative overture (or so he claims) while throwing his support in Dallas’ corner.
“He has two years left on his contract. He is getting huge dollars, which are not justified, based on the value of the running back position right now. … Jerry Jones needs to be smarter than this; he doesn’t need to pay Ezekiel Elliott even as much as he has offered right now. That is ridiculous. Makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I think the Cowboys need to adopt a tougher line here. They paid Jaylon Smith. They’re going to have to pay Dak Prescott. They’re going to have to pay Amari Cooper. It doesn’t make sense to pay a running back $13 million a year, $12 million a year, $14 million a year.
Walk away, Jerry Jones. Let Tony Pollard run behind that Dallas Cowboy offensive line. He will do incredibly well for you, and a lot of people will legitimately be saying — instead of in a joking fashion — ‘Zeke who?'”
You can check out Travis’ segment for yourself in the video embedded below.
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Travis is Echoing Colin Cowherd
Perhaps coincidentally, Travis’ rant is eerily similar to the message that FS1’s Colin Cowherd delivered earlier this week: Jones holds all the cards. Cowherd also posited, naturally bombastically, that Elliott’s career with the Cowboys could be coming to an end as a result of the nearly month-long holdout.
“Jerry Jones drafts Zeke. Zeke gets in trouble, immediately. Jerry goes to the wall for him,” Cowherd said. “The fans bail on him. Media people like me bail on him. The NFL bails on him. The commissioner bails on him. And Jerry goes to the wall for him. You pay him back going to Mexico and two years out holding out. You don’t think Jerry’s justified with a little bit of his anger?
If I defended you — your mom wouldn’t, your dad wouldn’t, your job wouldn’t, your boss wouldn’t, your industry wouldn’t — and I defended you, and I tried to get your boss fired, don’t you owe me a solid? Just a little solid?
I don’t always take the owner’s side, but in this instance, Jerry defended Zeke to the core. And make no bones about this: Jerry has all the leverage. Jerry just doesn’t have to pay Zeke for two years, then he can franchise him. Zeke’s career could be over. He doesn’t have to pay him. Doesn’t have to pay him.”
Nothing Imminent, per Stephen Jones
Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones made his weeky radio appearance on 103.5 The Fan in Dallas on Friday, and although the team is confident in eventually reaching agreement with Elliott, Jones was brutally honest about where things stood at that very moment.
“I don’t think we’re close because there’s not a lot of activity,” he said.
At last check, Elliott currently is training in Cabo San Lucas with NFL Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk while Big D readies for its regular season dress rehearsal Saturday evening against the Houston Texans.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter @KelbermanNFL