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Report: It was a “priority” during Ezekiel Elliott’s contract talks to leave salary cap room for others

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Elliott was looking out for his teammates.

NFL: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are just about ready for Week 2 action and the days of Ezekiel Elliott holding out seem long ago in the rearview mirror.

Elliott’s holdout was the dominant story of Cowboys training camp and the preseason period. Not having the NFL’s reigning rushing champion stirred up a debate over how much that would really matter in today’s passing game. It was all moot though as Zeke and the Cowboys agreed on a deal that made him the game’s highest-paid running back just a few days before the season began.

The passing game was on display in the opener as Dak Prescott threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns against the New York Giants. One of those scores went to wide receiver Amari Cooper, both he and Prescott are in need of long-term type of deals that Elliott just received. It’s important for Dallas to keep their young, promising players together for the foreseeable future.

This is something that people criticized Elliott for during his holdout noting that he should be more inclined to consider how much pie (to use Jerry Jones’ words) was truly available for everyone that needed a slice. According to a report, leaving dollars available for his Cowboys teammates was a priority for Zeke.

For both Dallas and Elliott, it was a priority that any extension leave salary-cap room to sign others; quarterback Dak Prescott represents the most sizable looming contract.

The accepted deal allows for this.

Part of the reason that Elliott’s holdout lasted so long was that the Cowboys wanted to leave enough dollars and cents available for all of their superstar-level players. Prior to Elliott they had previously paid DeMarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith, and La’el Collins just in the time since last season ended. The price, no pun intended, to drafting well is that sooner or later those players all need more proper paychecks. Here’s hoping that the available space is put to use soon so that all of these contract discussions can come to a close.