The world has been
getting pretty antsy patiently waiting for an answer on the Ezekiel Elliott front regarding the Dallas Cowboys. Elliott has been holding out for all of training camp and the preseason to this point, and with the regular season being less than two weeks away we are approaching the eleventh hour.
It’s been hard to predict what direction this Zeke thing could go. Stephen Jones has remained firm in his points that the Cowboys do not want to set the market for any of their new contracts (Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper are also deals that need to get done) and Elliott has dropped a few breadcrumbs on social media that would seem to indicate he wants to be paid like the best running back in the NFL.
Why wouldn’t Zeke want that, though? Who wouldn’t take as much as they could possibly get if they were in a situation that allowed for that to happen. We don’t have much clarity on his position because he hasn’t spoken to the media in quite some time, but all of that changed on Monday when an interview that he did with Maxim dropped.
In the interview, Elliott discusses how fortunate he and Dak Prescott were to land with the Dallas Cowboys three years ago considering the great offensive line that played for the team. He mentions how the game starts in the trenches and that those players are part of what has made both Dak and Zeke so successful.
Perhaps the most interesting thing that Elliott has to offer is with regards to his contract situation. He tells Maxim that Todd Gurley’s contract extension with the Los Angeles Rams a year ago helped revitalize the worth of running backs across the league, but what’s more is that he says that he wants to be a Cowboy for hopefully the rest of his career... while referencing that even Emmitt Smith “ended up going to play for another organization.”
“I love playing for the Dallas Cowboys, I love the organization, my teammates. I do want to be a Cowboy for the rest of my life and hopefully that’s a possibility. But even Emmitt Smith, the greatest running back ever, ended up going to play a couple of years for another organization. So it’s just the nature of the game, but I want to be a Dallas Cowboy for as long as I can.”
As for the upcoming season and his goals, “It all starts with the team, the ultimate goal, and that’s just to win a Super Bowl,” says Elliott.
Cowboys fans will remember that the Dallas Cowboys infamously moved on from Emmitt Smith and that the NFL’s All-Time leading rusher went and played for the Arizona Cardinals. Those are very choice words considering Elliott’s holdout situation and many will be quick to note that his situation isn’t exactly apples to apples with when Dallas moved on from Smith.
Everything at this point between the Cowboys and Zeke is a calculated move, contract negotiations breed that sort of environment. This wasn’t an off-handed comment made by Elliott as he was passing by, this was an interview that he chose to do while in the middle of his holdout.
Perhaps this is indeed a strategic move by Elliott’s camp so we’ll see what the fallout of it all is. Does referencing one of the greatest Cowboys ever having to play for someone else stir up any emotions and make the Cowboys more likely to pay him what he wants?
Only time will tell.
Update: 12:10pm ET
There was some mystery as to exactly when this interview with Ezekiel Elliott occurred. Yahoo’s Charles Robinson noted on Monday that it took place in July before training camp even began.
Some fairly important context of this Maxim interview with #Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott: It happened in July, before training camp even started. If you’re reading it, keep in mind that “Zeke speaks” and “exclusive” are referring to an interview nearly a month and a half ago. FWIW.— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) August 26, 2019