Looming Ezekiel Elliott Decision Gets Key Update from Cowboys Insider

Ezekiel Elliott

Getty Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott runs for a first down.

The Dallas Cowboys have a whale of a contract with running back Ezekiel Elliott, and it doesn’t look like there will be any solving it soon.

As Heavy has previously covered, the former Ohio State star is making more money per year than any other running back in the league. The Cowboys gave Elliott a 6-year, $90 million contract and the $18.2 million committed cap dollars to the 26-year-old is more money than 30 other NFL teams have committed to the running back position per Spotrac.

Dallas Morning News reporter Michael Gehlken updated fans on the Cowboys OTAs on May 25, commenting on Elliott’s situation before practice began. According to Gehlken, the Cowboys are set to revisit the running back’s contract after this season.

“This was Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott last season before a partial PCL tear to right knee. Who he was before and after injury should not be conflated,” Gehlken wrote. “Elliott to take field this morning at OTAs. After season, Cowboys are expected to revisit his contract.”

Dallas could release Elliott and get off the hook for a contract that still has $52.9 million in pay potentially available. They could also restructure and extend Elliott, but it will depend on this offseason and his 2022 performances.

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Elliott Takes Field at OTAs

Not much can be made of how players look in OTAs, as the primary function is to get veterans back in the rhythm and introduce rookies and new players to the team and staff. However, Elliott did practice and his teammate and Cowboys QB Dak Prescott had nothing but positive things to say.

As Gehlken mentioned, Zeke struggled with a partial PCL tear last season. The Cowboys RB still totaled 1000 rushing yards per PFR, but didn’t have the same breakaway speed that fans were used to seeing.

Prescott knows Elliott in 2021 wasn’t the same player, but believes that replicating his best work is still possible.

“Nothing ever changes of my expectations of Zeke, of who he is, how he leads this team, how he approaches the game… When Zeke is healthy, I don’t think there is a better back,” Prescott said, per Gehlken.

It’s not a surprising quote by any means, but Prescott and Cowboys fans know firsthand that the Dallas offense can reach even greater heights when Elliott is at full strength.

Cowboys RB Warned by NFL Analyst

On May 20, former Philadelphia Eagles corner and current Fox Sports TV analyst Emmanuel Acho addressed Elliott’s contract and standing in the Cowboys team. For Acho, the presence of a high-performing backup in Tony Pollard means the pressure is on Zeke.

For Zeke, it’s a make or break season,” Acho explained on Fox Sports’ Speak for Yourself. “Remember [Ezekiel Elliott] has been tied up to the Cowboys because they’ve been tied up to him monetarily. But now that the money is starting to dwindle and the guaranteed pay is starting to dwindle… Zeke: if you don’t ball this year, it’s probably a wrap. Tony Pollard, he’s waiting to get more touches and he’s way cheaper.”

By “it’s a wrap,” Acho is referring to Elliott being potentially released, which would make the most sense for Dallas should he disappoint in 2022.

That being said, Gehlken’s update is a reminder that the Cowboys have multiple directions they can go when it comes to Elliott’s future.

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