Is Time Running Out for Ezekiel Elliott at the Dallas Cowboys?

Published 12/26/2020, 5:37 AM EST
Sep 20, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs with the ball in the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports


There has been a lot of uncertainty regarding the future of running back Ezekiel Elliott at the Dallas Cowboys. The running back who recently signed a 6-year $90 million contract extension with the Dallas based franchise has been battling injuries through the season. Deputizing for him has been second-year RB Tony Pollard. And Pollard has been raising quite a few eyebrows. 

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Pollard put forth a stunning performance against the San Francisco 49ers last weekend. With 69 running yards and 2 touchdowns, Pollard was the Cowboys’ key offensive weapon.

He also registered 63 receiving yards demonstrating his aerial prowess. With the performance Pollard put up, many asked, what lies ahead for Elliott?

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A massive contract could hold the answer

The contract. The massive contract that Ezekiel Elliott signed could hold the key to his future. The 6-year extension worth $90 million is the highest for a running back in the league.

While a number of performance-based clauses are part of the contract, the running back will still cash in $50.05 million in guarantees. 

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Nov 26, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) and Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) in action during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Football Team at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The talk of releasing Elliott this offseason also involves taking a massive cap hit. A $24.5 million cap hit to be precise. A not so wise decision, given that the salary cap is expected to be reduced sooner rather than later.

Given how things stand, the earliest window for the Cowboys to let go of Ezekiel Elliott would be during 2023. When the cap hit would total $6.7 million. 

Trading the running back right now too would be difficult. Coming off a career-low season, few teams in the league would be willing to take on that massive contract of his.

With Elliott, a 3-time Pro Bowler, registering a career-low when it comes to touchdowns, total rushing yards, and yards per carry, the odds of the Cowboys finding a trade partner for him seem quite low. 

Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys struggling without Prescott?

With the injury to Dak Prescott early in the season, the Cowboys needed Elliott to step up and lead the team’s offense. That, as we all know by now, has not happened.

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The pressure on Elliott to lead from the front without Prescott in the pocket seems to have impacted the running back’s numbers dramatically. 

With Prescott’s future at the Dallas-based franchise still uncertain, the load on Elliott to take charge of the offense come next season could persist.

As the franchise continues to battle with uncertainty, a lot of Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys’ performances next season could rely on whether Prescott stays with the franchise. 

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Shivayan Roy

604 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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