It has been reported that the Dallas Cowboys have offered running back Ezekiel Elliott a new contract extension that would make him the second-highest paid running back in the league. No dollar amount has been reported yet, but the yearly average would be between $13.125 million and $14.375 million.
Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley owns the highest salary in the league for running backs. His contract is for four-years and $60 million with $45 million guaranteed. New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell is currently the owner of the second-highest salary in the league for running backs.
Bell spent last year in a season long holdout, similar to what Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is looking at. Bell was searching for more guaranteed money and a long-term extension from his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Once it became apparent the Steelers weren’t interested in signing Bell long-term, he held out the entirety of the season, losing millions of dollars along the way. Bell was rewarded a four-year deal worth $52.5 million and $35 million guaranteed from the Jets. If Bell held out a full season and was still rewarded a lucrative deal, then the odds are in Elliott’s favor.
Every running back who has been signed for a big extension has been underwhelming. Bell and Gurley are both fresh signings, but Gurley is already reportedly dealing with recurring knee injuries and arthritis. Other notables are David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals and Devonta Freeman of the Atlanta Falcons. Both players are undoubtedly talented enough to live up to their contracts, but neither has made a significant impact for their teams since the big pay-day.
The Cowboys need to take a step-back and realize the new modern NFL doesn’t revolve around overpaying for one running back. The signings the Cowboys make won’t matter until they change their coaching staff and offensive schemes. The Elliott deal will get done, because that’s how Jerry Jones is. But the best bet for the Cowboys would be to explore trade options.