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Will Ezekiel Elliott Ever Receive a Long-Term Extension?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Sean's Scout: Impact Of Ezekiel Elliott's Return On Cowboys Offense

While Zack Martin walks around The Star in Frisco being the highest-paid guard in NFL history, other Dallas Cowboys might be day-dreaming about when their time for a similar long-term contract arrives. Cowboys Nation is already thinking about it at least. Dak Prescott, DeMarcus Lawrence and maybe even Ezekiel Elliott might see an extension soon enough, if they're able to put up a big-time performance in 2018.

Having said that, Zeke might never see a big Pay Day like Zack Martin did earlier this week.

Don't get me wrong, Ezekiel Elliott is one of the top running backs in the league and has been flat out dominant since entering the league in 2016. There isn't a single doubt about his abilities and about what his role on the team is.

But Elliott has received quite the workload during his first two seasons in the league and the Cowboys might not change that anytime soon. At the end of the day, Zeke and the running game have become this team's identity.

Through 25 starts, the super star running back has had 622 touches, averaging 25 touches per game. Le'Veon Bell, who's also one of the finest players at the position, averaged 23 touches per game during his first two seasons. Gurley averaged 20.

While I understand Cowboys Nation's desire to see Zeke involved in the passing game, taking a look at how they use Elliott makes you realize it's more than comprehensible that they don't use him as much as a pass-catcher.

The running back position is a tough one. Players are worn out and their careers tend to be shorter than the rest. This brings us to an inevitable question.

Should Cowboys Be Concerned About Ezekiel Elliott Long-Term?

What will Ezekiel Elliott's future look like in Dallas?

The most likely scenario is that his fifth-year option is eventually picked up so he can play through 2020 at the very least. But what about the year after that? Will the Cowboys hand him a long-term extension? It would have to be an expensive one.

By that time, Elliott will still be a young player. But how young will the then 26-year old running back will look like on the field if he keeps getting 25 touches per game?

When the time for an extension arrives, the Cowboys' front office might go the way the Steelers' have gone with Le'Veon Bell, handing him the franchise tag once or twice in order to keep him wearing the Star while not committing to the guy they know they have worn down over the years.

Of course, there's an alternate scenario. Maybe Elliott turns out to be a freak that can carry the ball 300 times every season and keep playing at the same level that he is right now.

I wouldn't be so hopeful though. The Cowboys are desperate for a championship run and they know that Zeke will be a huge part of the team that finally brings the Lombardi back to Dallas. Don't expect Zeke's workload to be reduced. If anything, it might even increase after a six-game suspension in 2017.

We're a long way from knowing the answer to this question and debates about Dak and about D-Law will likely come before this one. Even still, Zack Martin's extension is giving Cowboys fans a lot to think about. Ezekiel Elliott's future is one of the many things in the mind of Cowboys Nation.

Tell me what you think about "Will Ezekiel Elliott Ever Receive a Long-Term Extension?" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

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7 Comments
  • Derek Robinson

    Zeke is the best running back in the NFL. Bar none!. If he’s the leading rusher in the NFL this year, he should be the highest paid RB in the league. PERIOD!!!

    • alan reyes

      Since Elliott is not expected to be part of the passing game this year as Austin is taking that role, Elliott cannot be considered among the best backs such as Gurley and Bell and others who are superior runners but really break the defense by being superior receivers. The Boys evidently have decided Elliott simp!y is limited as a receiver and traded for a 3rd down back. Power ,slashing runners are common and you don’t need to pay a lot for a slasher who can get 4.1 behind the Boys line and that is all Elliott was last season.

      • BUDDY

        Obviously you’re very ignorant about football. After your comment everything you said means absolutely nothing.

  • Chuck Wright

    Any talk of extension should at least have some breakdown of cap. Zeke is a 5th year guy so at best he’s 2 off seasons away from any extensions.

    Martin done, D Law will get his after this year assuming another big year, think Lawrence is allowed to walk and we’ll receive a 3rd round comp for him. Dak is the other pending extension and much of that will depend on 2018 though I can see him not extended until 2019.

    Great source though not yet updated with Zach’s new deal but the tabs let you walk forward thru 2022

    https://overthecap.com/salary-cap/dallas-cowboys/

  • alan reyes

    Actually, Elliott was very average and looked a step slower in 2017 such that Elliott was not at all an elite back last season. Unlike other actually elite backs, Elliot has not shown a feel for being a receiver. Elliott is a slashing power runner with speed but is not elusive. He takes a lot of hits. It is unlikely Elliott will continue as an effective back beyond his rookie contract given his limitation to being a 2 down back and the punishment his style of running absorbs. The real question on offense is can Elliott even be as effective in 2018 as 2016 or was last season’s regression permanent? Remember, even after he returned from suspension claiming he was in the best shape of his life, he was not dominant. Elliott has to prove he is not a one year wonder.

    • BUDDY

      You don’t watch very many Cowboys game apparently. Zeke is the best RB in the league. Last year would of f*cked anybody up. You will see how great he is this year with all the b*llshit behind him.

  • Not your goat

    I think the plan for Zeke all along has been to burn every mile off him in 5 years while we continue to build and maintain our offensive line. When we talk about a player, especially his workload we are usually paraphrasing the coaches and trainers from how they comment on each guy, like Kamara or Hunt you want him to “get touches but keep him healthy” and having “a pitch count”, in Zekes instance you only hear about giving him the largest workload he can handle since his 1st day as a Cowboy. Sure he’s a workhorse but RB’s don’t have a lifespan in years, they have a certain amount of reps. Guys that can blow the game open just can’t touch the ball 25 times a game, come December if he’s still on the field he is lucky to be at 70%. Zeke is a grinder and the type of guy who stays on the field because he wears your defense down late and unless your name is Jerome Bettis you just can’t do that for very long. You can’t tell me Marion Barber doesn’t come to mind when you think about paying a guy like that on a Veteran deal so I really think Dallas drafted Zeke as a 5 year lease from the beginning. How often have we seen any runningback go for 2500 yards in their 1st 2 seasons (probably 1 every 2 years) now how many of them have a 9 year career or even more still productive then? Because that’s what it would take to retain him, by then 4 years, 15mil per. The more likely scenario if he still has miles left and Zeke is still this monster producing at a high level we will Franchise him 2 years and let him walk for his 8th season and use the money elsewhere while looking for his replacement in the draft. Remember too, he was suspended to be a gift for Tony to finally get him a championship, if we were thinking long term there’s no doubt Ramsey should have been the pick.

Star Blog

Starters Make Cowboys Serious Contenders, But Depth is a Concern

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys Defense Better Or Worse Then Last Season?

Playing in the National Football Conference, the Dallas Cowboys have a difficult task ahead of them if they are to be serious Super Bowl contenders. Even still, they've become a very underrated football team due to their 9-7 record last season. The Cowboys struggled in many areas and with the Philadelphia Eagles crowned as Super Bowl Champions, everyone has forgotten about America's Team.

2017 was an awful year for the Cowboys. It seemed like a roller coaster of success, putting up an impressive performance one week only to disappoint the next one. Let's be honest with ourselves here and talk about what really ended the Cowboys' last season.

Injuries.

As much as we talk about how there shouldn't be any excuses in football - the Eagles made a huge statement by winning it all with a backup QB and other key starters missing - we can't deny the impact of these injuries.

Anthony Hitchens, Sean Lee, Tyron Smith and Ezekiel Elliott all missed some time last year, affecting the team's performance week in and week out. Had the starters been healthy, the truth is this team would've been in the playoffs.

Heading into 2018, the Cowboys will face a very similar situation. This year, starters make Dallas a serious contender. Even if they're playing in a conference that will feature a lot of quality teams, the Cowboys are a team that could beat any team in the league if healthy.

Even the dreaded wide receiver position - which has been famous this offseason for the lack of a #1 receiver - won't be as bad as we make it out to be starter-wise. A starting trio of Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup and Cole Beasley doesn't really sound bad.

Heck, not even Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods starting at safety is concerning. They have what it takes to be decent starters. Sure, Heath isn't a guy who will make the Pro Bowl, but his skills will show on the field once the season starts in September.

The Cowboys' starters will do just fine this season. If the team's fate is up to them, they are in a very good spot. The same can not be said about depth, though.

Except for the defensive line, every other position lacks depth. If Sean Lee goes down, the linebackers stop looking like a three-headed monster. Same goes for the cornerbacks. Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis seem like a good group but as soon as one of them suffers an injury, the Cowboys will be in trouble.

We're in for an exciting season with a lot of young talent waiting to breakout. The Cowboys are underrated this year. They may not be among the NFC's favorites, but they truly have what it takes to replicate the success they had in 2016. However, it seems like circumstances have to be ideal for them to make a run for the Lombardi Trophy.

With a little bit of luck, they'll bounce back this season.

Tell me what you think about "Starters Make Cowboys Serious Contenders, But Depth is a Concern" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Star Blog

The Dallas Cowboys WR Position Battle is Heating Up

Brian Martin

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Dallas Cowboys WR Position Battle Heating Up 1

Earning a spot on the Dallas Cowboys final 53-man roster is going to be a lot tougher in 2018 then it has been in years past. There is no shortage of position battles taking place right now to earn one of those coveted openings, but it's the battle taking place at receiver that's gaining steam and starting to heat up.

The ultimate unknown right now is how many wide receivers the Dallas Cowboys choose to carry on their 53-man roster this season. Last year they decided to carry six, but they have been known to carry just five. Unfortunately, this means they will have to release some talented players and risk losing them to another team.

As things stand right now there may just be one, possibly two, roster spots up for grabs. I think the only thing we know for sure right now is Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin are the only WRs who can feel secure their jobs are safe for 2018. Everybody else is playing a game of Survivor, just hoping their name isn't the one written down and their torch isn't snuffed out.

Terrance Williams' flame may be safe due to his current contract. The Dallas Cowboys can't save anything by releasing him, but it doesn't cost them that much either. It's unlikely he has a future with the team, so if someone were to prove themselves more worthy, his flame could be extinguished.

Terrance Williams

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

Last season I thought Noah Brown was ready to unseat Williams, but that never really materialized. Unfortunately, Brown hasn't really shown up as much as I thought he would this offseason, and missing the game against the San Francisco 49ers last week didn't do him any favors either. This doesn't bode well for him moving forward.

Deonte Thompson was signed as a free agent to provide some veteran experience and speed to the passing game, but that in no way means his job is secure. He needs to do something to show up a little more because his age and salary means a younger up-and-coming WR could make him expendable.

Second-year WR Lance Lenoir Jr. might just be the receiver who has stirred things up the most. He has not only created a buzz for himself in offseason practices, but he was able to carry it over into the preseason last week against the 49ers. His arrow trajectory is definitely pointing upwards.

I'd definitely hate to be the one to decide who stays and who goes when final cuts are made. It's not going to be an easy decision to make, because the outcome will definitely have an impact on the team's success this year.

All of these players were brought into help Quarterback Dak Prescott and the passing game reach new heights, so making the wrong move could be detrimental. The number of wide receivers and who the Dallas Cowboys decide to keep might be the most important decision they make before the season starts.

How would you predict the Dallas Cowboys WR position battle turning out?



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Star Blog

Any Concern About Dan Bailey Not Playing Against 49ers?

Brian Martin

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Decision not to Play Dan Bailey against the 49ers a Concern? 1

With all the excitement of the Dallas Cowboys finally playing in a game last week against the San Francisco 49ers, it may have escaped your attention that Dan Bailey remained on the sideline the entire time. He didn't attempt one field goal or kick off once last Thursday, which in my opinion is a little concerning.

Dan Bailey joined Ezekiel Elliott and Sean Lee on the sideline as a healthy scratch last week. The decision to sit both Zeke and Sean Lee makes sense due to the physical demands of their positions, but sitting Bailey was a bit of a head scratcher. After all, it's not like he plays a physically demanding position like the other two.

I know. I know. Dan Bailey is an integral part for the Cowboys success moving forward. I'm not arguing that he's not, but after sitting out the majority of the 2017 season with a groin injury and lingering concerns about his health this year, not playing him at all against the 49ers is a bit confusing.

I don't believe there is any kind of kicking competition between Dan Bailey and Brett Maher, who handled all of the kicking duties against the 49ers last Thursday. Bailey will be the Cowboys kicker when the 2018 season gets underway in just a few short weeks. But, the question remains… Why didn't he receive any playing time?

Dan Bailey

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey was never quite the same last season once he returned from his injury. Something was off and I don't know if it was more mental or physical, maybe a little of both. He just wasn't splitting the uprights like his normal self.

Unfortunately, we have seen this kind of thing happen in the past with one of the Cowboys kickers. Nick Folk went through a similar situation with an injury and never really bounced back. I'm just hoping history doesn't repeat itself.

Obviously, the Dallas Cowboys know more about what's going on with Dan Bailey than I do. But, you would think they'd have allowed him to attempt a field goal or at least an extra point in a game situation to build up his confidence once again. It's what I would have done.

Hopefully I'm just being a little paranoid and I'm reading more into this than there actually is. But, the fact I haven't heard any reasoning as to why Dan Bailey was held out last week is sitting a little uneasy with me. I'm just hoping it was precautionary in order to keep him as healthy as possible for the upcoming season.

Should we be concerned Dan Bailey was a healthy scratch last week?



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