Ezekiel Elliott Rumors: Cowboys Star Won't Play This Season Without New Contract

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2019

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott smiles as he walks off the field after participating in drills at the team's NFL football training facility in Frisco, Texas, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott reportedly plans to sit out the entire 2019 season if he does not receive a new contract.

Appearing Tuesday on Get Up, ESPN's Josina Anderson described a conversation she had with a source regarding Elliott's status:

"The source said back to me: 'Yes, it is true. Ezekiel Elliott will not play this season if he doesn't have a new contract, and matter of fact, added that he told the Cowboys this back in January. So then I asked the source, 'But is it likely, though?' I think that's the more apropos question, and he said, no, I don't think it's likely from the standpoint that Jerry Jones, we believe, wants to get this deal done and he understands that out of Amari Cooper, Dak Prescott, that there's only one player who's actually the top at his position and that's Ezekiel Elliott."

Anderson also tweeted the following:

ig: josinaanderson @JosinaAnderson

Source added** they still think Ezekiel Elliott not playing, is not likely, at this time, given the same sentiment that Jerry Jones wants to get a deal done. Context: These comments only came to me this am in response to me asking if Eric Dickerson’s statements yesterday r true. https://t.co/LMOkapoBdh

Elliott is holding out of Cowboys training camp, as his contract will pay him $3.85 million this season before a fifth-year option kicks in in 2020 and pays him $9.099 million.

Rather than reporting to camp, Elliott has been working out in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, which is where he trained during his six-game suspension in 2017.

While both quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper are set to enter the final year of their respective contracts, Elliott has two seasons left. With Elliott holding out, however, there may be a greater sense of urgency to get a deal done with him.

When asked by NFL.com's Adam Maya on Sunday about the contract situations of arguably his three most important offensive players, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seemed confident that they won't go anywhere:

"Just know that like so many things, it'll happen. It'll happen. There literally is no concern on my part at all about any time frame. That'll happen. The results are too good for them and too good for the Cowboys. Think about it now. The results are too good for them and too good for the Cowboys. That always happens when it's that good for both of us."

The 24-year-old Elliott made the Pro Bowl in 2018 for the second time in his three NFL seasons. He also led the league in both carries (304) and rushing yards (1,434) for the second time.

Although Elliott rushed for just six touchdowns, he expanded his game significantly by setting career highs with 77 receptions for 567 yards and three receiving touchdowns.

In Elliott's two full seasons, the Cowboys have gone a combined 23-9 and won a pair of NFC East titles.

While holding out for the entire 2019 season would be a risk for Elliott, former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell showed last season that a player can hold his value after a missed year.

Bell did not sign his franchise tender with the Steelers last season and sat out. Even so, the New York Jets signed him to the second-biggest contract among running backs in the NFL with an average annual salary of $13.125 million.

Given his age, Elliott is likely to surpass that and perhaps the $14.375 million Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley makes per season if and when he signs a new deal with the Cowboys.