This is already shaping up to be an incredibly interesting offseason for the Dallas Cowboys as Jerry Jones and the rest of the front office will be very busy trying to keep their top talent on the roster and avoid any potential holdouts. DeMarcus Lawrence’s contract has expired, while Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper are all looking forward to huge contract extensions.
Naturally, this has led to many difficult questions being thoroughly discussed in Cowboys Twitter. Who’s the odd man out if you can’t pay them all?
There’s a divided opinion on this topic. Some simply don’t believe Dak Prescott should be the future at QB for the Cowboys. A few will argue that Cooper isn’t consistent enough to warrant a big-time extension. On the other hand, some will quickly reply Elliott should be out because he’s a running back.
Personally, I lean toward the latter as well. Let’s talk about it.
Here’s the thing. I love Ezekiel Elliott. I’m sure every single Dallas Cowboys fan loves Zeke. Since he took the field in the 2016 preseason versus the Seattle Seahawks and ran over Kam Chancellor and company, we knew he was going to be special. Three seasons into his career, it’s impossible to deny he’s among the NFL’s finest in his position. In terms of talent, he’s probably the best on the Cowboys’ roster.
But, he’s a running back. In this league, that’s a tough position to pay. Honestly, I’d be in favor of extending him because I believe he’s a valuable player who could keep his level of play for a long time unlike the vast majority of running backs. He’s one of those athletes that seem to be an exception at their position.
However, I wouldn’t prioritize his deal over Dak Prescott or Amari Cooper’s. Now, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t because I believe they are better players, but because their position is far more valuable. I’d rather have a solid passing attack and a modest running attack than viceversa.
As fellow Inside The Star writer John Williams mentioned on Twitter, there’s plenty of evidence that tells us that running backs decline at age 27 and 28. Is paying a RB, as good as he is, $15M per year worth it? That should be close to what the price tag will be. That’s close to what Todd Gurley got from the Rams last offseason. While you’re risking a holdout from his part, the Cowboys could exercise the fifth-year option on Zeke’s contract and worry about the extension later.
I mean, I want to re-sign several of them, but do we honestly think the team would be better with Zeke and Byron and a replacement-level QB? Is that our idea of contract value?
— Cowboys Stats & Graphics (@CowboysStats) February 10, 2019
It’s a discussion that I’m sure we’ll have frequently over the following weeks and months. I sincerely hope the Dallas Cowboys manage to keep all of these guys. If they’re able to, the front office will deserve a big round of applause. Despite my thoughts on the situation, I believe Zeke will get his extension. I hope that doesn’t get in the way of a deal for Dak Prescott or Amari Cooper, though.