As is the case with many holdouts, it appears the situation has deteriorated quite quickly down in Dallas. Ezekiel Elliott has yet to report to training camp. Jerry Jones compared the holdout to if his hand was nearly severed in a car crash (?). Backup and rookie running back Tony Pollard has performed admirably during Zeke’s absence. Now, Elliott and his agent are displeased, to say the least, with Jones’ most recent public comments after the owner jokingly responded, “Zeke who?” to a reporter after the Cowboys’ Saturday night preseason victory.
Jones probably should not have said that and I’m sure Elliott and his agent are a bit mad about it, but it strikes me as posturing and a part of the negotiations more than an actual rift beginning to form. BUT… What if this is a sign that the relationship is beyond repair? It would take a lot for the Cowboys to consider moving on from Elliott, but that unlikely circumstance grows more and more possible with each passing day. Let’s say, just for a second, the Cowboys did decide to trade Elliott. He’d go to a team close to contention and willing to part with both good young players as well as a few high draft picks. They’d also likely have to give Elliott an extension, otherwise, he’s back where he’s started, just not in Texas.
Unlikely? Absolutely. Possible? Until the holdout ends, we can’t rule it out. To that end, here are three teams who should reach out and think about a trade for Elliott and the skillset he brings as an All-Pro running back, should the Cowboys go in that direction.
The need to take the load off Andrew Luck recently became greater after his mysterious calf injury suddenly became an ankle injuryand he was declared out for the preseason. What better way to take care of him than giving him an All-Pro backfield partner? Elliott would have an offensive line of similar quality to run behind and a lot more space to operate; teams wouldn’t dare stack the box against Luck and T.Y. Hilton, injury or no injury. Marlon Mack is a good running back, but not as well-rounded or explosive as Elliott.
The Colts also have the assets and cap space to make a move for someone like Zeke thanks to the asset-hoarding tendencies of GM Chris Ballard. This sort of big-splash move isn’t really his forte, but it’s not often they can acquire a player of Elliott’s quality. He’d catapult them into the same category as the Patriots and Chiefs for the top threats to the AFC’s crown and would open up the field for Luck on play-action unlike anyone he’s ever had. The price is steep, but if Ballard wants to make his team a legitimate threat against the high-powered Chiefs, it’s the move to make.