Dallas Cowboys: End the Ezekiel Elliott drama now

Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

With the start of the regular season just a few days away, it’d sure be nice for the Dallas Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott to be concentrating on football.

First thing’s first, let me be clear. When I say “Dallas Cowboys”, I’m talking about the front office. I’m referring to the Jones family and their semi-infuriating ways of publicly negotiating their contracts. The New England Patriots don’t do it like this. The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t do it this way, either. I don’t know why Jerry and Stephen Jones insist on carrying on like this.

But I’m also not letting all-world running back Ezekiel Elliott off the hook, either. Dude’s got two years left on his contract. I don’t begrudge a player for trying to get paid, especially not a player like Elliott. He plays the most brutal position in football, and he plays it for a team that is built around his considerable talent. It’s easy to see why his camp is dug in for more money.

But in Elliott’s case, it’s easy to come back to the length of time left on his contract. Also, you can point to the other two high-profile players on this team seeking new deals, quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper. Both reported to camp, and both will be ready to start the regular season.

So it’s become irksome to see this saga play out as the weeks have unfolded. Alternately, the sides have been close, then they’ve been far apart, and then close again, depending on your social media feed. And if you listen to sports talk radio in this market, there’s been no shortage of breath wasted on this matter. But I will tell you this: as time has passed, the court of opinion has tilted in favor of the organization, and maybe rightfully so.

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If you follow this team even somewhat closely, you are fully aware of the amount of drama this kid courts. Whether it’s allegedly punching a DJ, lifting a girl’s shirt at a St. Patrick’s Day parade, or shoving a security guard while visibly hammered in Las Vegas, the Cowboys’ organization has bent over backwards to protect Elliott. From the organization’s standpoint, it’d be understandable to discover that they feel anger and a sense of betrayal over this holdout. It’d be hard to blame them as well. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Think about how many 2am phone calls Jerry Jones has received about the latest Zeke escapade. Wouldn’t you be amazed at the gall of this kid now asking for a raise?

But it’s not just the raise. What about playing out the rest of your contract? What about reporting to your team–a team that has massive Super Bowl aspirations this year, no less–and playing this season with an equally prodigious chip on your shoulder? Show everyone you’re worth not only the extra money, but also worth the inherent headaches.

Elliott has some leverage if he thinks he’s the piece that puts the everything over the top. But the Cowboys also seem content to let this ride with who they’ve got in house right now. Given their strength at offensive line, and the emergence of rookie running back Tony Pollard, who would be surprised if the front office gives Zeke the Le’Veon Bell treatment?

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A wise man once said, “Don’t tell me about the pain, show me the baby.” This is the stage a lot of the fans are at right now. We’re sick of all the chatter and we’re ready for meaningful football. The New York Giants will be in town in five days and will be ready to play whether or not Ezekiel Elliott is suited up. I’m sure this Dallas Cowboys’ team is all-football-all-the-time currently, but this public charade needs to stop soon so everyone can get their eyes on the prize.

  • Published on 09/03/2019 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 09/03/2019 at 06:39 AM