The long-awaited contract extension the NFL world was holding its’ breath for. The Dallas Cowboys, days before the start of the regular season, extend running back Ezekiel Elliott for six-years, $90 million with $50 million guaranteed.
The deal officially places Elliott in the driver seat of running back contracts, beating Todd Gurley’s massive extension with the Los Angeles Rams. Gurley was guaranteed $45 million, shortly before the news of his knee arthritis was made public.
Once Elliott signed his new contract, he was officially the sole owner of the richest running back contract in NFL history. Even with the large contract, Jerry Jones expressed pleasure in extending the star running back.
“I’m $100 million dollars lighter this morning,” said Jones. “Zeke has arguably been our best player.”
The extension ends Elliott’s holdout just days before the season opener against the New York Giants, the Cowboys ultimate rival in the league. With Elliott back in practice, the Cowboys are able to game-plan appropriately for the upcoming game and season.
As Elliott was holding out, backup Tony Pollard emerged as an early fantasy football favorite to replace Elliott. With Pollard having the necessary repetitions and Elliott back in the lineup, the Cowboys have a running back duo that can keep defenses honest to always be on their heels. The Cowboys offense can now lean away from being the one-dimensional mess that they’ve proven to normally be.
Elliott has enjoyed success in his early years. Elliott joined former Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith as two of the five running back since 1970 to lead the league in rushing yards in two of his first three seasons. These are the best years of Elliott’s career and he’s being paid appropriately for it. The hefty extension shows how committed the Cowboys are to proving a marquee running back is worth value when competing for a Super Bowl.