Before the 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys gave former first-round pick Ezekiel Elliott a six-year 90 million dollar contract. At the time, few questioned the move. Do the Dallas Cowboys regret paying Elliott? In hindsight, the decision may not look as wise.
The Cowboys still have more key players they would like to pay. Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and Byron Jones all have expiring contracts. Coming off a career season, the Cowboys have offered their quarterback over 30 million dollars per year. As for Cooper, his walking in free agency wouldn’t make sense after trading a first-round pick for him. Because of those two things, it appears that Byron Jones will be the odd man out.
Also, the Cowboys will eventually have to pay their star young linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. Paying all these players would be easier, or possible if they didn’t have a running back taking up so much of their cap space.
Why Did Elliott Get Such a Big Contract?
Before giving Elliott that contract, the Cowboys offense revolved around the running game. In 2017, in six games without Elliott, Prescott had five touchdowns, seven interceptions while throwing for under 200 yards per game. That porous stretch made people wonder how effective Dak could be without a great running game. Despite those previous concerns, Dak Prescott was second in the entire NFL in total passing yards this season as the Cowboys had more yards than any other team in the league. The Cowboys offense revolves more around the passing attack now, making Elliott less valuable.
Elliott isn’t the only running back who has recently signed a big contract recently. Todd Gurley and Le’Veon Bell have received significant paydays from the Los Angeles Rams and New York Jets, respectively. If the Jets and Rams could have a do-over, they would not have given out those contracts. Many around the league believe that you can have a dominant running game with a good offensive line and play-caller while having other players that can free up space for the ground attack rather than merely relying on an elite running back to carry the load. Behind a porous offensive line, Le’Veon is coming off the worst statistical season of his career. Will the Cowboys be the next team to regret giving lots of money to a running back?
Where Do the Dallas Cowboys Go From Here?
Elliott is an excellent player, but a 90 million dollar contract is a tough pill to swallow. Elliott’s salary makes it harder for the Cowboys to retain their other key players like Prescott, Cooper, and Jones. With what we saw from the Cowboys passing attack this season, Elliott isn’t as valuable as he once was.
Follow me on Twitter for more great content @CarsonHathaway_
Be sure to check out our partners at Repp Sports! They offer the first-ever crowd-sourced, no carb, no sugar, energy drink called RAZE, and much more! Use the link above or add the promo code OTH1 at checkout to get 30% off your order!