Cowboys Star Could Bolt Over ‘Massive’ Ultimatum in Stare Down: Exclusive

The Dallas Cowboys may be officially heading to the beginning of the post-Ezekiel Elliott era with tensions expected to rise over the team’s desire for the star to take a significant pay cut. According to Heavy Sports NFL insider Matt Lombardo, the Cowboys are on the verge of asking Elliott to take a “massive” pay cut, and the longtime Dallas playmaker may not be willing to accommodate the team. If Elliott is not willing to take the Cowboys’ offer, it would pave the way for the running back to potentially play elsewhere next season.

“The Dallas Cowboys could be on the verge of giving Ezekiel Elliott an ultimatum, as the franchise and running back appear locked in a stare-down as the offseason begins,” Lombardo explained. “According to multiple league sources familiar with the running back market, I’m told the Cowboys are poised to ask Elliott to take a ‘massive pay cut’ in order to stay with the team.”

Elliott still has four seasons remaining on a six-year, $90 million contract but things may reach a boiling point this offseason as the Cowboys have an out in the running back’s deal. If Dallas releases Elliott, the team would still take a dead cap hit of $11.8 million, per Spotrac. Yet, it could be worth the hit for the Cowboys as Elliott is no longer owed guaranteed money for the remainder of his deal.

Ezekiel Elliott May Not Be Willing to Take a Massive Pay Cut

At the end of the Cowboys season, Elliott admitted he would be willing to discuss a pay cut to remain in Dallas. Yet, the star may not agree to take the sizable amount Dallas plans to seek in the coming weeks. The Cowboys will be pushing Elliott to take a significant pay cut from the $10.9 million salary the rusher is slated to have in 2023.

“It has seemed pretty clear from multiple sources that the Cowboys plan to use the franchise tag on running back Tony Pollard, and ask Elliot to take a pay cut, but as free agency approaches in March, that pay cut is expected to be massive, with one source telling me he isn’t certain Elliott will take it,” Lombardo added. “

This info seems to jibe with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting that Elliott’s agent will gauge his value and make a decision on his future during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. But, regardless of how this situation plays out, it appears anything but certain that Elliott is a Dallas Cowboy Week 1 of the 2023 season, and certainly won’t be at his current cap number.”

The Cowboys Are Expected to Use the Franchise Tag on Tony Pollard If No New Deal Is Reached

'Everybody eat': Zeke Elliott, Tony Pollard feed off each other | Michael Smith Gets It | NFL on NBCMichael Smith sits down with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard to talk to the Cowboys' RB tandem about sharing the rock, making each other better and what it will take for Dallas to get over the hump in the postseason. #NBCSports #MichaelSmithGetsIt #ZekeElliott #TonyPollard » Subscribe to NFL on NBC: » Watch SNF on…2022-12-02T19:18:38Z

Things appear far more certain for Pollard’s future in Dallas despite the lack of a contract. Pollard is slated to hit free agency in March, but the Cowboys have the ability to use the franchise tag on the playmaker to keep the Pro Bowler in Dallas, even if a long-term deal is not reached. The franchise tag amount for Pollard is projected to be $10 million, per Over the Cap.

This would have the Cowboys spending nearly $21 million just on their top two running backs, an impossibility in today’s NFL given the declining financial value at the position. Cowboys vice president of player personnel Will McClay alluded to difficult decisions this offseason.

“Haven’t reached that decision point [on future of veteran players]. [We] have had those internal discussions, because you got to figure out how to manage the credit card,” McClay said during a January 23 edition of “Cowboys Hour.” “And out of respect to the people that have done work and that you want on your team, you’ve got to figure it out and communicate with their guys. Are they going to be insulted? Those are all things that you’ve got to go through, and you got to have strong enough relationships with those people and their agents to be able to have those frank conversations.”

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Bob Colleary
Bob Colleary
3 months ago

Tough to believe Dallas could have a worse off-season than they did last year, but here we are!

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