Cowboys have no timetable for an Ezekiel Elliott extension

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When the Cowboys discuss the list of players who merit new contracts, running back Ezekiel Elliott rarely gets mentioned. Which makes it fair to ask whether Elliott is a priority — and whether he could eventually be allowed to leave via free agency, like DeMarco Murray previously did.

Cowboys COO Stephen Jones recently made it clear that the team wants to keep Elliott around.

“Well, I think those are all a work in progress,” Jones said in a #PFTPM interview, via NFL.com. “Certainly we’ve got a couple years there with Zeke to get that done. We certainly want to get him done. He’s the straw, if you will, that stirs our drink. He’s a key part of what we’re about. Those things take time to get done. They don’t happen overnight. Certainly he’s a priority in terms of ultimately getting him signed. There hasn’t really been a timetable put on this.”

The fact that the Cowboys have the fifth-year option as their disposal makes it easier for the team to wait to sign Elliott. But the longer he waits, the more he carries the risk of the kind of injury that will keep him from ever getting paid what he deserves.

The fifth-year option, added to the labor deal in 2011, gives teams the right to squat on a first-round pick for another year, in lieu of signing him to a long-term deal, applying the franchise tag, or watching him walk away in free agency. It’s bad for the player, and it actually makes it better for a player to be taken high in round two instead of being taken low in round one.

For Elliott, the contractual status necessarily makes him less of a priority than he otherwise would be. And it puts the onus on Elliott to make himself more of a priority, perhaps by uttering one of the most memorable (and most NSFW) lines from Goodfellas.

8 responses to “Cowboys have no timetable for an Ezekiel Elliott extension

  1. “a work in progress” and “a couple of years to get it done” do not belong in the same discussion. It takes about 10 minutes to do a free agent deal so what is the problem here? The problem is that they do not want to pay him now and may not intend to pay him later.

  2. Zeke, look at what DeMarco did and do the exact opposite. He was a star running back on the Dallas Cowboys. He had the keys to the kingdom. He gave it up for what he thought would be some extra money and he became a forgotten journeyman and probably ended up losing millions in endorsements.

  3. If the cowboys intend on giving him a new contract, they should go ahead and do it before the season begins. Zeke will only be 24 when the season begins and if they give him a contract comparable to the 47 million in guarantees Gurley received, the Cowboys can structure the bulk of the guarantees over the next four seasons while he is young and highly productive. The bottom line is, the Cowboys need to be done with Zeke within the next four seasons when he’s 28 and his production decreases.

  4. Is there anything in place to stop a first round pick from saying I’m not signing a rookie contract unless you put terms in that you won’t use the 5th year option?

  5. Zeke is nothing like DeMarco Murray so stop with the comparisons. Murray could not stay healthy his first 3 seasons and had one great season in year 4 mostly because of volume. You don’t sign a RB to a max second contract at age 27 who couldn’t stay healthy in 3 of his first 4 years.

    Zeke hasn’t missed time due to injury. Works his butt off to be ready to play each week no matter what. And has been dominant as a rusher since entering the league. Leading the league in rushing since he entered even though he was suspended for 6 games. He’ll get his contract next offseason. Bank on it.

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