Ezekiel Elliott Planning Holdout?

Even as the Cowboys have prioritized extensions for Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper over his, Ezekiel Elliott participated in the team’s offseason program. He may be set for an about-face come training camp.

Elliott, who has two years left on his rookie contract thanks to the Cowboys picking up his fifth-year option, has privately said he plans to hold out from Cowboys camp, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. No final decision has been made, per Yahoo.com’s Charles Robinson (on Twitter), but the fourth-year back is “absolutely” considering it. The Cowboys have discussed an Elliott re-up for more than a month, and how much progress the sides make between now and camp will likely determine if Elliott reports, per Robinson (Twitter links).

A recent report indicated the Cowboys do not plan to extend Elliott in the near future, and considering the historic workload he has amassed thus far in his career (an NFL-high 1,003 touches since debuting in 2016), the soon-to-be 24-year-old back may be set to force the Cowboys to make his second contract a priority. The team, however, has Prescott, Cooper, Byron Jones, Jaylon Smith and La’el Collins going into contract years.

But Elliott plays a position with a much shorter shelf life and possesses a limited window to turn his skills into a financial windfall. The Cowboys gave Elliott 381 touches last season, pushing his career per-game total to 25.1. Only two backs (Edgerrin James and LaDainian Tomlinson) have ever accumulated more touches per game than Elliott through three seasons. Another high-volume season, at a $3.9MM base salary, would run the risk of an injury or further mileage damaging Elliott’s value. Cowboys plans for another big Elliott workload have played into thinking on the holdout front, Robinson tweets.

Elliott, who recently skirted more suspension trouble, has won two rushing titles in three seasons and has played at a higher level than any of the Cowboys’ contract-year players. Dallas took care of its All-Pro offensive linemen and may face the prospect of its best skill player threatening to withhold his services for a while. Todd Gurley, David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell each make north of $13MM per year. Elliott stands to make just more than $9MM in 2020. Should he decide to hold out, he will follow Melvin Gordon‘s lead this year. The Chargers back has not accomplished what Elliott has but has publicly threatened a holdout.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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20 comments on “Ezekiel Elliott Planning Holdout?

  1. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    Smart. Get every penny, Ezekiel. Lawyers aren’t cheap.

    • Ironman_4life

      Breaking a contract is not smart business. I get every argument for and against this strategy and from a legal and common sense standpoint, he is under a contract that HE signed. Go to work man.

      • brewcrew08

        If he holds out he doesn’t get paid though. So he would be giving up HIS money. If he’s willing to do that for a year or two (if no deal gets done) why is that bad?

          • JJB0811

            The team is hurting him by giving him 300+ carries. Its no longer a team sport, it’s all about taking care of yourself. Do you see an FA’s upset when they sign w/ new teams each offseason? Nope, because they’re getting paid.

            If EE wasn’t a good to great back, Dallas would have cut him already.

  2. Screamer

    Always amazes me when you here a story about someone that lives in their own universe

    Zeke should be happy enough he’s still in the league; now he actually has the nerve to say he should holdout

    • brewcrew08

      Why should he be lucky he’s still in the league? Because his ex fabricated stories against him? Or because he got in a fight? I didn’t realize a fight was enough to boot a guy from the league. If it was we wouldn’t have football.

  3. JJB0811

    Following Emmitt I see. Difference is, E Smith wasn’t in trouble off the field and had a SB ring to boast.

    But frankly, it doesn’t matter how many of these ‘stars’ D signs, because as long as Garret is the coach, they’ll choke in the playoffs.

    • Tha Dilla
      Tha Dilla

      we need charles haley to start chucking helmets at jerry to right this ship.

    • earmbrister

      If Garrett wasn’t the coach, they wouldn’t have made the playoffs in some of those years. Some people complain that he had that streak of 8-8 seasons. Look at those rosters, the talent was putrid. They had guys signed off of their couches who immediately became starters.

    • JJB0811

      Who wants him? Too expensive to trade for and to pay. Plus he’s 1 mistake from a long time suspension. Not a very attractive deal for any team.

  4. 2weeks

    Dallas should do a Melvin Gordon and Ezekiel Elliot switch and get some picks back

    • JJB0811

      What does that accomplish? Both want mega deals. Might as well stay with the better overall player which is Elliot.

  5. crosseyedlemon

    My suggestion to Zeke would be to ask Dez Bryant for career advice….and then do the exact opposite.

  6. left

    Might as well, Cowboys are used to playing without the knucklehead due to suspension. They will be just fine. Zeke can drink all he wants and bully kids in private.

  7. Polish Hammer

    So he’s willing to sit out and not get paid? He could’ve just kept the lame apology and not worry about that lawsuit costing him money.

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