Cowboys Called Out for Paying Ezekiel Elliott ‘Worst Contract’

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

Getty Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

Stop me if you have heard this before: Ezekiel Elliott is overpaid.

That dead horse continues being beaten to an unrecognizable pulp, and the latest lashing comes courtesy of Bleacher Report, which scrutinized Elliott’s contract — six years, $90 million — as the Dallas Cowboys‘ worst of the 2021 season.

“For the most part, the Dallas Cowboys have invested wisely in quarterback Dak Prescott, left tackle Tyron Smith, guard Zack Martin and wide receiver Amari Cooper,” BR columnist Brent Sobleski wrote on Friday, November 12. “For a while, Jerry Jones threw money around left and right to keep the team’s core together. In doing so, the Cowboys owner made Elliott the game’s highest-paid running back.”

Sobleski added, wondering aloud: “Elliott is good. But is any running back worth $15 million annually based on the position’s value around the league?”

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By The Numbers

Elliott is in year three of his record-setting extension, which he signed in 2019, becoming the highest-paid RB in NFL history. The three-time Pro Bowler is counting $6.820 million against this season’s salary cap. Elliott agreed to a simple restructure in August, converting $8.6 million of his $9.6 million base salary into a signing bonus. The move freed $6.8 million of cap room for the Cowboys.

Through eight games, Elliott has turned 128 carries into 622 yards (4.9 yards per carry) and five touchdowns. He’s also contributed 153 yards and one TD on 23 receptions. This, in sharp contrast to his explosive understudy, Tony Pollard, who’s averaged 5.6 YPC across 72 totes — and, more notably, who’s making peanuts ($850,000) compared to Zeke.

“The argument isn’t whether Pollard is the better back,” Sobleski wrote. “The issue is whether the Cowboys could get a better return in their investment if they hadn’t already splurged on Elliott’s deal. Over the next two seasons, Elliott’s salary-cap charges increase to $18.2 and $16.7 million, respectively.”

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Zeke Good to Go Despite Bothersome Knee

After a sporadic outing amid last week’s loss to Denver, during which a heating pad was draped around his knee, Elliott disclosed that he’s dealt with nagging soreness in recent weeks, further exacerbated by a Broncos defender landing on his leg.

Holding court following a limited practice Wednesday, the 26-year-old assured reporters that his knee “feels pretty good” and tamped down any doubt as to his Week 10 status.

“I probably did more today than what I’ve been doing in the past. … I just kind of took a bad fall on it during the game and it was sore, but it’s more something I just have to keep moving around, keep warm,” Elliott said, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota.

Elliott was limited again Thursday before getting in a full session on Friday. He was not tendered an injury designation for Sunday’s home contest against the Atlanta Falcons, who are surrendering 123.1 ground yards per game, ninth-most in the league.

“He will be fine,” head coach Mike McCarthy said in a news conference Monday, November 8.

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