It’s been a busy week for the Dallas Cowboys front office as earlier they locked down linebacker Jaylon Smith to a long-term (very team-friendly) contract extension that keeps him around America’s Team for the next handful of years (and some). That’s exciting.
Smith was the team’s second-round pick in 2016 and you’ll remember that the first-rounder from that season is quite good as well. It was Ezekiel Elliott that Dallas selected with that pick and ever since he’s led the league in rushing in two of his three seasons while helping the Cowboys win division titles and reach the Divisional Round of the playoffs in both of those years.
Zeke wants a new deal with the Cowboys, so much so that he’s been holding out for all of training camp and the preseason to this point. There’s been a little bit of traction (using that word loosely) on that front this week with the calculated messages being sent through the media. What’s more is on Thursday we found out that Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk is headed to Cabo to train Zeke, too. That obviously means Elliott is still planning on being in Cabo which is not The Star in Frisco.
A report surfaced on Friday morning from 105.3 The Fan that indicates this could be short-lived, though. The report states that Elliott will be returning from Cabo this weekend and it also notes that he and the Cowboys were in contact as recently as Thursday evening. What’s more is the report says that a deal could come together over the weekend and that the All-Pro is not expected to miss any regular season games. That’s right.
I’m told Zeke will not miss any regular season games @1053thefan #ZekeWatch #happyfriday https://t.co/7u20nZ3P8O— Jonathon Shipman (@Shippyfunsports) August 23, 2019
This is very exciting (and relieving) news considering we are just about two weeks away from the regular season kicking off against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. The sooner that Elliott returns to the Cowboys the sooner all of this will behind us all and what’s most important can come more clearly into focus.
What kind of contract could the Cowboys land with Zeke?
In terms of dollars and cents it’s important to note that on Thursday there were two separate reports (both from ESPN) that stated the Cowboys and Zeke seem to be zeroing in on a specific figure, or rather a specific range.
Apparently the Cowboys could consider paying Elliott more than New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell, but less than Los Angeles Rams runner Todd Gurley. Exactly where in between remains to be seen, but here are their current deals to give you an idea.
Todd Gurley contract:
- $57.5M in total value
- $14.375M per year
- $45M total guaranteed
Le’Veon Bell contract:
- $52.5M in total value
- $13.125M per year
- $35M total guaranteed
Stephen Jones has said many times that he believes it was Le’Veon Bell that truly set the market as he was a running back who negotiated in free agency. If you’re not a free agent how is it even the market? This is the logic behind that thought (with regards to Gurley) and it’s not hard to disagree with.
The Cowboys will play a football game at AT&T Stadium for the first time in a long one on Saturday night when the host the Houston Texans in the dress rehearsal. It sure would be nice to return to it with some great news for the world to talk about during the game, right?
We’ll have to wait and see.
Update: 11:20am ET
If you were wondering exactly where between Gurley and Bell that Zeke could fall, the answer is closer to the former.
Update: I'm hearing Zeke's deal will be much closer to the Gurley deal than the Bell deal. Sounds like the Cowboys will make Zeke earn more of the guarantee. @1053thefan https://t.co/Ymc2QGYecA— Jonathon Shipman (@Shippyfunsports) August 23, 2019
The dollar signs are adding up.