Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones presumably wanted Ezekiel Elliott to get a message, before the holdout running back apparently leaves the country.
Jones, ever the businessman, pointed out that teams don’t need rushing champions to win Super Bowls.
Via Jane Slater of NFL Network, Jones made the type of statement regarding Elliott’s holdout that can be interpreted only one way: We’re not overpaying for a running back. Slater reported Jones said the following to CBS 11:
As we await an end to this Zeke holdout at training camp, interesting thoughts from Jerry Jones to Dallas’ CBS11 Sunday 👀 pic.twitter.com/fWsIcu3gs6— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) July 29, 2019
Ezekiel Elliott has two rushing titles
Of course, Jones isn’t wrong. Teams are finding that running backs are easier to find late in the draft or sign to cheap deals in free agency than most positions, and investing heavily in a second contract for a running back usually doesn’t work out because their primes don’t last long. Ask the Rams if they regret Todd Gurley’s extension.
Of course, Jones presumably knew the running back position had been devalued when he took Elliott fourth overall in the 2016 draft, ahead of more valuable prospects like cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Alas.
Elliott has been very good for the Cowboys. He has two rushing titles in three seasons, and it might have been three-for-three had he not been suspended six games to start the 2017 season.
The Cowboys also have one playoff win in Elliott’s three seasons, and that’s with him working on his rookie deal.
Elliott is an elite back
There are a handful of backs who might be worth big extensions. Elliott clearly is in that group of elite backs. He’s more of an impact player and a bigger part of the Cowboys’ offense than, say, fellow holdout Melvin Gordon with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Maybe Jones ends up paying Elliott a large extension. Jones has never met a star player he didn’t want to pay. Jones is a businessman, and part of business is negotiation.
Still, it will be hard to reconcile that comment with signing Elliott to a massive extension. Elliott practically has to report by Aug. 6, or he won’t accrue a season toward becoming a free agent. We’ll see how the saga plays out. But Jones’ latest comment on the matter is an eye-opening one.
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