Ezekiel Elliott Warns Cowboys Against Paying Tony Pollard – Dallas Cowboys Blog

Ezekiel Elliott Warns Cowboys Against Paying Tony Pollard – Dallas Cowboys Blog

  • Sports
  • March 15, 2023
  • No Comment
  • 8

FRISCO, Texas – Now that the Cowboys have released Ezekiel Elliott, he is ending his stint with the Dallas Cowboys as the third-best rusher in franchise history. Only Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett have more, a testament to an exceptional run for the former first-round pick.

“We are a better franchise because of the example he has set for both veterans and newbies,” owner Jerry Jones said in a statement released Wednesday.

Elliott is also a cautionary tale about paying running backs.

Both can be true.

He became only the fifth rookie to lead the league since the 1970 merger when he finished 2016 with 1,613 yards. In 2018 he added another rushing title. A six-game suspension in 2017 prevented him from rushing for at least 1,000 yards each of his first three seasons.

Along with quarterback Dak Prescott, he propelled the team to a 13-3 record in 2016, the best record in the NFC. Two years later, they made it to the divisional round. In 2019, he added six more 100-yard plays to his tally and finished for 1,357 yards.

Ezekiel Elliott will end his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys as the No. 3 all-time leading rusher. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Just before the start of the 2019 season, Elliott signed a six-year, $90 million extension that included $50 million in guaranteed money. He stayed out of the training camp to get his money. The Cowboys finally relented.

The decision to make Elliott the highest-paid running back at the time may now be postponed, but it made sense at the time.

When the Cowboys took him by fourth overall in 2016, they got a second contract provided he played — and he played. A team cannot break away from a top-five pick after five years, regardless of position.

You may question the prudence of taking a running back that high. The fallback option this year was cornerback Jalen Ramsey, but the Cowboys felt that Elliott could extend Tony Romo’s career by taking the pressure off the veteran quarterback, just like running back DeMarco Murray did in 2014.

Elliott and Romo never played in a regular season game together because Romo suffered a back injury in the preseason and Prescott never gave up the starting job.

The Cowboys were aware of the durability of running backs when they signed Elliott for overtime. In fact, one can argue that they had it in mind because the guaranteed money in the contract was made by the time Elliott was 27 years old. If age 30 was the demarcation line for demolition, the Cowboys felt they were on the right side of the ledger.

It wasn’t necessarily wrong to pay Elliott if they did. He and his agent, Rocky Arceneaux, played the system perfectly and were helped by the fact that the Cowboys could not get Prescott to agree to a long-term deal. The contract structure also favored Elliott, as his 2022 guarantees were earned in 2021.

Follow the NFL’s free agency

News For Everyone Zoohouse News

• Track Contract Signings, Trades, Cuts, Buzz »
• Everything worth knowing for the free agency »espnplus News For Everyone Zoohouse NewsTop 100 Free Agents Ranking »espnplus News For Everyone Zoohouse NewsRating of Biggest Deals »
More about the free agency »

It just didn’t work.

In 2020, Elliott rushed for 979 yards and only had one 100-yard game. He got off to a flying start in 2021 until a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee limited his burst. He finished 17 games for 1,002 yards and cleaned out most of the season while wearing braces.

Last season, he rushed for a career-low 876 yards but had 12 touchdowns. He suffered a sprained knee against the Detroit Lions, missed two games and failed to record a 100-yard jaunt for the first time. He remained an excellent short-range and goal-line defender, as well as a dominant pass protector.

However, running backs don’t get paid $15 million a year to protect the passer.

The rise of Tony Pollard and the fall of Elliott coincided. Pollard’s speed and vision led to a Pro Bowl season and the $10.091 million franchise tag. When Pollard was eliminated in the playoffs against San Francisco with an ankle injury, the Cowboys’ chances of victory were doomed.

And now the Cowboys face a similar contract dilemma with Pollard.

Are they paying him a mega contract or are they playing out the season on the day?

How the Elliott expansion turned out is probably enough to give the Cowboys pause.

Related post

2024 Mini Clubman marks the end of the brand’s quirky backdoors

2024 Mini Clubman marks the end of the brand’s…

The 2024 Mini Cooper Clubman marks the final model year for the Mini car’s body style and its quirky split rear…
India expels Modi critic Rahul Gandhi from parliament

India expels Modi critic Rahul Gandhi from parliament

NEW DELHI (AP) – India’s top opposition leader and fierce critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expelled from parliament on…
For better cakes, follow these tips from a baking expert

For better cakes, follow these tips from a baking…

Dinner SOS is the podcast where Bon Appétit answers your highly specific cooking questions, thanks to host and Food Director Chris…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *