The Dallas Cowboys have been in a contract dispute with last year’s leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott, who still has two years left on his rookie deal. Elliot is scheduled per the Dallas Morning News to make a base salary of $3.8 million this season and $9.09 million in 2020. The running back had until August 7th to earn his benefits for this season. Since he failed to report and continues to hold out, he has delayed his option to become an unrestricted free agent by at least another year.
Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones has been on the record stating that they are willing to pay its players, but have to divide it equally across the board, as they still have to pay Dak Prescott, and Amari Cooper as well.
“This is a distribution dilemma for us. The money is going to go out the door, it’s going to spent across the board with our team. It’s just Jerry (Jones) and I’s job to decide how to divide the pie. Everybody wants their share and as much as they can get and rightfully so, that’s not the player’s problem. That’s not Dak’s issue, that’s not Zeke’s issue, that’s not Amari’s issue to worry about who gets what. That’s our issue … Zeke’s been a great football player for us. He’s a warrior on the field, and we got great respect for him and we just want to get resolution at some point,” said Jones in a phone call interview, on the Rich Eisen Show last week.
Many sports enthusiasts have tried to compare Zeke’s contract dispute with the Cowboys former Dallas Cowboy and Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, who like Elliott was the leading rusher in 1992. Smith would decide not to participate in the Cowboys training camp and missed the first two weeks of the regular in 1993. However, here is where Emmitt’s situation with Dallas is different from Elliott’s, while Zeke is under contract Smith was not at the time. He fulfilled his contractual obligations to the Cowboys and shared this with Voice of the Fans’ Cameron Buford at an event last week at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
“I think the Cowboys should pay him. I think if you look at the scheme of things where things are today. Leverage is the most important thing that we all have, you lose leverage you lose opportunity. The Cowboys have leverage they are going to lesson your opportunity. So, you have to strike while the iron is hot. There are so many options that Cowboys, have that he doesn’t have, everyone in the world wants to talk about what he should do because they are not in his position. As a former player when are in that position when you have leverage you need to take advantage of the opportunity. ”
“I think people are going to test how far he is willing to go like they did with Le’Veon Bell. How far are you willing to go”
When asked if he would ever consider sitting out an entire season like Le’Veon Bell did last season with the Steelers, Smith said he couldn’t see himself doing that, but doesn’t mean Zeke couldn’t.
“You can’t compare him to me! So, we got different things everyone wants to compare this to that to try to draw their own conclusion which is false. That is what I would call negative or false information. There is nothing similar about my situation, nor Zeke’s situation or Melvin Gordon’s situation. So, you can’t even compare it, although the press would love to, but the reality is there is a distinct difference between what they’re doing and what I have done. If you dig deeper you will find out that I was never a holdout, although the propaganda said I was a holdout, but the reality of the fact is my contract was fully fulfilled and negotiating. When you don’t have a contract and you are unemployed all you can do is negotiate.”
Well, Emmitt negotiated his way to the largest contract for a running back in 1993 worth $13.6 million over four years.
We will have to see how Zeke’s situation turns out since according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, he will sit out until a new deal is reached.
Representatives for running back Ezekiel Elliott have told Dallas Cowboys that he will not play in the 2019 season without a new contract, a source close to the situation told ESPN’s Josina Anderson on Tuesday.
The source added that at this time, it is not likely that Elliott’s holdout continues into the regular season, based on the belief that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants to get a new deal done with the running back before Week 1.
Elliott is currently vacating in Cambo as negotiations between both sides continue.