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Report: Ezekiel Elliott Seeking Richest Running Back Contract in the NFL

John Williams



Cowboys en Español: El Reto VS Texans, Porque Bryant No Volverá

The Dallas Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott have been involved in preliminary contract discussions this offseason, though there hasn't been a ton of movement toward finalizing an extension for their star running back. There have been reports that Elliott is considering a hold out in order to leverage the Dallas Cowboys into a contract extension with two years left on his original rookie deal.

Charles Robinson, who has been following covering Elliott's potential hold out reported yesterday that Elliott is looking to become the highest-paid running back in the NFL.

In this space, we've talked a lot about the precedence that the Los Angeles Rams created by extending Todd Curley just three years into his NFL career and it looks like Ezekiel Elliott is looking to cash in as well.

Earlier in the offseason, I wrote about how Gurley's contract could be a framework for Elliott to get paid this offseason and if the Dallas Cowboys are planning to extend their starting running back, it's much better to do so now.

The running back position may be the most sensitive position when it comes to wear and tear in the NFL. No other position suffers as steep of a drop off as running back as the position ages. Having just turned 24 years old, the Cowboys front office would be wise to get that extension done now so that his contract would expire closer to 28 years old, or the age when most running backs suffer the biggest decline.

Per, Todd Gurley signed his four year $57.5 million dollar extension at the same age that Elliott is now. Gurley received a total of $45 million in guarantees with $21.95 million at signing, and $21 million of that is a signing bonus. Elliott's contract extension would likely come in at four years and $60 million with similar percentages in guaranteed money.

The structure of the contract will be essential. In Gurley's deal, the Rams can walk away as early as 2021 and save as much as $9 million on the salary cap with $4.2 million in dead money in 2021 and 2022. If they waited a year and released him in the 2022 offseason, the Rams could save $10 million with only $4.2 million in dead money for 2022. So basically, the Rams are only on the hook for two more seasons with Todd Gurley. That essentially they only risked one extra season on top of his rookie deal.

If the Dallas Cowboys did the same thing with Elliott's extension, they would essentially only be committed through 2021. After that, if they structure the contract similarly to Gurley's, they could walk away with minimal amounts of dead money for the 2022 and 2023 salary caps.

It remains to be seen if Ezekiel Elliott will hold out of training camp. On Thursday, he was a no-show when the team left for Oxnard and the unofficial start to training camp. Elliott will have to report today for his pre-camp physical and won't be considered late or a no show until that time.

Even if Elliott doesn't report, it's not the end of the world. We know what Ezekiel Elliott is going to give as a running back. It's similar to when Zack Martin sat out of OTAs and Minicamp in search of his new contract extension. You didn't worry about Zack Martin's ability to get ready for the season and you shouldn't with Elliott.

Elliott has until August fourth for his 2019 season to be factored into his service time and to keep his free agency eligibility on track for the 2021 offseason. Even if Elliott does hold out, it'll be shortlived.

The Dallas Cowboys want Ezekiel Elliott to be their bell-cow back for the foreseeable future and he's shown the durability and the ability to be a running back that you can invest in. When they're able to come to an agreement on a new deal is the only question that lingers.

I don't imagine the question will linger too long.

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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Cowboys’ Tight End Marcus Lucas with Huge Opportunity vs the Houston Texans

John Williams



Cowboys' Tight End Marcus Lucas with Huge Opportunity vs the Houston Texans

With only two preseason games remaining, opportunities to make a statement are growing thin. The Dallas Cowboys have very few spots on the roster available, especially at the tight end position where Jason Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz appear to have the depth chart locked down. The problem is, Jarwin and Schultz have been dealing with injuries and missed the second preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams and probably won't play against the Houston Texans tonight.

Enter Marcus Lucas.

Marcus Lucas hasn't been a member of the Dallas Cowboys for very long, but he's already made an impact.

In his first preseason game with the Dallas Cowboys, Lucas caught four passes on four targets for 20 yards. His receptions went for two, seven, five, and six yards for an average of five yards per reception. He did have a holding penalty that cost the Dallas Cowboys 10 yards on a first down play that didn't go anywhere anyway.

Though Lucas has bounced around NFL practice squads, he's never really found a home. After going undrafted in 2014, Lucas was signed by the Carolina Panthers in May of that year but wasn't able to stick on the 53-man roster and was released and placed on the practice squad. In 2015, he was on the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears practice squads. In 2016, the Panthers brought him back in the summer after the Bears released him from their 90-man roster. That September after cut-down day, the Seattle Seahawks signed Lucas to their practice squad where he spent all of 2016. From 2017 to the end of 2018, Lucas spent time with the Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions, the Seattle Seahawks again, and the San Francisco 49ers. He was with the 49ers in 2019 before joining the Dallas Cowboys about two weeks ago and will get an extended run in these final two preseason games.

At Thursday's practice, Lucas was the only tight end available with Jason Witten getting a rest day and Jarwin, Schultz, and fellow Tight End Cody McElroy dealing with injuries.

Todd Archer on Twitter

With Jason Witten getting a day of rest, Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz and Codey McElroy injured, the Cowboys have one tight end practicing today: Marcus Lucas, who has been with the team for about two weeks.

It's possible that Lucas may get an extended amount of playing time tonight with an opportunity to show the Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the NFL that he's ready to land on a 53-man roster. With likely only Jason Witten being the only other tight end active for the game against the Houston Texans, Lucas will get a lot of playing time. If his last preseason exposure is any indication, he'll get the chance to display his receiving prowess.

At 27, Lucas likely has few opportunities left to make his mark for an NFL franchise. On a team that proclaims the "next man up" as a battle cry, after Witten, Lucas is the next man up for tonight and depending on his performance could make the Dallas Cowboys front office or another front office around the league take notice.

Depending on the long-term health of the Dallas Cowboys' tight end position, Lucas may find his path to a roster spot simply dependent upon the health of Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz. Though a job may not come with the Dallas Cowboys, tonight is an extremely important audition for his next suitor. How he performs tonight could land Marcus Lucas a job after the Dallas Cowboys trim the roster to 53 next week.

They say "preseason games don't matter," but to Marcus Lucas, this might be the most important game of his career.

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REPORT: Signs Point to Elliott, Cowboys Finalizing Contract Extension

Jess Haynie



Will No Preseason Work Hurt Ezekiel Elliott's Early Season Production?

Our long Cowboys National nightmare may close to ending. According to Kevin Turner of 105.3 The Fan, there's news coming in that points to Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys soon reaching an agreement and ending Zeke's holdout.

The following was just tweeted this morning from Turner's account:

Kevin Turner on Twitter

BREAKING: Hello, talented media personality KT here, same source tells me Zeke is booked to return from Cabo tomorrow. Another source tells @Shippyfunsports the Cowboys and Zeke were in contact late last night, and that a deal could come together over the weekend. @1053thefan

We had just heard yesterday that Dallas offered Zeke a deal that would make him the second-highest paid RB in football behind Todd Gurley. Was that enough to get Elliott to sign, or perhaps the basis that Zeke's team used to make a final counteroffer which Dallas agreed to?

Hopefully we'll find out all those details very soon. For now, we can just take hope in these signs of light at the end of this contract dispute tunnel.

The Cowboys aren't the same team without Ezekiel Elliott. With so much at stake in this 2019 season, it's time to get this deal done and get ready to win.

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Report: Cowboys Offer Ezekiel Elliott a Contract to Make him the NFL’s Second Highest-Paid RB

Matthew Lenix



Report: Cowboys Offer Ezekiel Elliott a Contract to Make him the NFL's Second Highest-Paid RB

Negotiations are picking up in Dallas. According to ESPN's Ed Werder, the Dallas Cowboys have offered All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott a new contract that would make him the second-highest-paid running back in the NFL.

Ed Werder on Twitter

Sources: The most recent offer in negotiations between holdout Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys came from the team. Elliott has been offered a contract making him one of the NFL's 2 highest-paid RB. That would suggest team offering more than LeVeon Bell and less than Todd Gurley.

This would put Elliott just below Todd Gurley's four-year 60 million dollar deal and just ahead of Le'Veon Bell's four-year 52.5 million dollar deal. He's currently set to make 3.9 million in 2019 under his current contract. Deadlines make deals and it appears the Cowboys understand this. More to come.

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