Six-year, $90 million contract extension for Ezekiel Elliott. Those are the facts as reported by ESPN.
The Cowboys have come to terms on a deal with their star running back that will make him the highest paid at the position in league history.
$50 million of the deal is guaranteed. With his current deal through 2020, plus the extension, Elliott’s total compensation is $103 million.
The deal ends Elliott’s training camp and preseason holdout. He’s expected to join the team for practice this week and be ready for the season opener on Sunday at home against the New York Giants.
Zeke’s holdout highlighted yet another battle between labor and management.
Management wants to squeeze every last bit of production from an employee before having to pay them what they’re worth. Of course, this doesn’t only happen in sports, but it doesn’t help that the labor is predominantly Black and management overwhelmingly White.
In any other industry or profession, if labor feels as though they are underpaid, they can quit and seek employment elsewhere. Not true in sports, and definitely not in the NFL.
So rather than risk injury in training camp and preseason while playing on a ridiculously below market contract relative to his value and production, Zeke withheld his services until a more favorable contract was offered.
In 2018, Zeke (95.6 rush YPG) became the fifth player since 1932 to lead the NFL in rushing yards per game in 3-plus consecutive seasons.
He has averaged 101.2 rush YPG in his career (second in NFL history, minimum 40 games played, behind only Jim Brown's 104.3). Zeke became the fifth player in NFL history with 4,000-plus rush yards and 1,000-plus receiving yards in his first three seasons, joining Chris Johnson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Barry Sanders and Ottis Anderson.
Zeke is the Cowboys' offense. Yes, quarterback Dak Prescott is good. But Zeke allows him and the entire offense to be great.
For his part, Elliott knew what he was worth to the Cowboys. If “America’s Team” has designs on a Super Bowl this season, they weren’t going to win it without having Zeke lined up in the backfield.
He knew it, and ultimately owner Jerry Jones and the Cowboys knew it too.
(Photo: Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)