OXNARD, CA — One is one of the most powerful and influential owners in all of sports, the other is perhaps the top at his respective position. With the much-publicized holdout and back-and-forth sparring across social media and two different countries, who had the edge in the latest episode of drama involving America’s Team, Jerry Jones or Ezekiel Elliott?
Jones, the newly-minted Hall Of Fame owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, has stubbornly held his position of not paying Elliott a contract on the level of fellow top running backs such as Todd Gurley of the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams and Le’Veon Bell of the New York Jets.
While many feel that Elliott deserves top-dollar–and rightfully so–Jones may have the leverage as while Elliott has more than produced on the field of play, his questionable actions off of it, don’t exactly help his argument.
Stemming from his time in Columbus at Ohio State to his time in Dallas, Elliott has been involved in highly questionable incidents such as visiting a marijuana dispensary in Seattle before the Cowboys’ game vs. the Seahawks in 2016, getting suspended six games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy in assaulting his former girlfriend in 2017, forfeiting $559k in total salary to getting fined a total of $40,108 for use of a prop vs. Washington and impermissible use of a helmet against then-Philadelphia Eagles FS Corey Graham in 2018.
Incidents such as these, while damaging, and that most teams would cut a player of Zeke’s talent, the proverbial fly in the ointment is that without Elliott, the Cowboys are a barely .500 team.
And with all due respect, while Dak Prescott is one of the promising young faces of the NFL, he is not worth the $40 million that he is reportedly asking for in his current contract talks with Ol’ Jerruh.
Set to go into his fourth year of his five-year rookie deal worth $24.95 million, as Dallas picked up his fifth year club option in April worth $9.099 million that would make his rookie contract worth a total of $33.4 million, the former fourth overall pick out of Ohio State in the 2016 NFL Draft, is set to make $3.853 million this coming season per Spotrac.com
In his three seasons, Elliott has rushed for 4,048 yards on 868 carries and 28 touchdowns in being the proverbial engine that powers the Cowboys offense. While some critics will contend that Dallas’ offensive line could let any running back have the success that Zeke has had, none of them are Elliott.
In a league where the quarterback, left tackle and defensive back are the top three primer positions in football, Zeke’s argument is weak in the fact that he is a running back and that traditionally after the age of 26, they tend to start declining.
One thing that works in Jones’ favor is that RB’s for the most part are a dime a dozen and are considered interchangeable, Zeke may draw some inspiration from Bell’s contract holdout in which he lost $14.5 million in total salary from the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it can be debated that Elliott is a better back than Bell.
Both men have strong arguments in their cases against each other, but in the end, if the Cowboys struggle out the gate, they may be able to count on another former Buckeye running back in Mike Weber Jr. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that, but the longer this contract holdout drags out, the more that it doesn’t help neither party, nor the Cowboys’ Super Bowl hopes this season.