Ezekiel Elliott Not Concerned About Cowboys Contract, Future After This Season

Erin WalshJuly 27, 2022

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Ezekiel Elliott is not concerned about his future with the Dallas Cowboys despite rumors swirling that the 2022 campaign could be his last in the Big D.

Elliott said Wednesday, per ESPN's Todd Archer:

"I think it is a big season, but I think you can't look too far down the road. I think if I focus on every day, if I focus on having a good day of camp, if I focus on taking it week by week, I think everything will handle itself. And I don't think there's really a reason to look that far down the road. I think if I handle my business every day, then I'll be in a pretty good situation at the end of the season."

Elliott's comments come after Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday that the veteran running back is "a keystone player" for the franchise and that it needs him to win a Super Bowl.

Rumors about Elliott's future with the franchise intensified after 105.3 The Fan Cowboys insider Bobby Belt said last week during an appearance on the Washington Football Talk podcast that Dallas could move on from the veteran come 2023.

"Zeke could rush for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns this year and I think he's still probably done here. They need to move on. That contract has been such an albatross for them, one of the worst deals in football and, as much as they love his toughness and things like that, it's about time to rip off the Band-Aid. He's not the same player anymore."

Elliott signed a six-year, $90 million deal with the Cowboys in September 2019, but only $50 million of his contract was guaranteed. Dallas can move on from the 27-year-old after the 2022 season by eating $11.9 million, though that's not necessarily ideal.

If the Cowboys opt to stick with Elliott beyond 2022 he will receive at least $14 million per year over the next four seasons. He has a salary-cap hit of $18.2 million this coming season.

The Cowboys selected Elliott fourth overall in the 2016 NFL draft, and he has been a key piece of their offense since. During his 2016 rookie season, he rushed for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns in 15 games, earning a Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection.

Elliott also finished second in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting during the 2016 season and finished third in MVP voting.

He went on to rush for 983 yards and seven touchdowns in 10 games in 2017 before recording back-to-back seasons of at least 1,400 rushing yards in 2018 and 2019.

The Ohio State product has seen his production dip over the last two seasons—posting 979 rushing yards and six touchdowns in 2020 and 1,002 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in 2021.

However, he dealt with a partially torn posterior ligament in his right knee last season, which limited his effectiveness. In addition, the Cowboys liked to use both Elliott and Tony Pollard last season as they were both effective.

There's no question Elliott is one of the most talented running backs in the NFL when healthy, and it's hard to imagine the Cowboys being able to replicate his production if they part ways with him after the 2022 season.


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