Jerry Jones did plenty of public negotiating during the Ezekiel Elliottholdout. The outspoken billionaire is not shy around television cameras, so this came as no surprise. He wanted everyone to know that the organization wasn’t panicking, even using some levity along the way, which Zeke’s camp had to make known they didn’t appreciate.
Elliott secured the bag after a day of the public hearing about his vinegar strokes. The Dallas Cowboys doled out a six-year, $90 million extension with $50 million guaranteed. The workhorse back is now the highest-paid running back in the NFL, dwarfing Todd Gurley’s contract.
A lot of people will try to sell you on the idea that he won this standoff. And that Jones lost. This is not an example of global brain.
Jones comes out of all this just fine. At 76, he is desperate for another championship. Wasting the prime years of Elliott, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and a fearsome offensive line was not a desirable option. The organization was always going to have to decide which of the aforementioned trio it would pay. There was no getting around this.
Elliott forcing their hand — if he did — helped make the decision a bit easier. Time will tell what it means for Prescott. It’s clear that, right now, the Cowboys are a legitimate Super Bowl contender and Jones will have the opportunity to spin this as a win-win-win for all involved — and he won’t be stretching the truth.
Between this deal, which of course has plenty of exit clauses and trap doors that either side could use to make the marriage a thing of the past, and the long-term deals cut with several other Dallas players, the organization is showing that it’s willing to play ball with talent and give them lasting security. At least, the most one can hope to have in the NFL.
Ezekiel Elliott’s contract is enormous
It was always going to be enormous. He smartly used his leverage at the right time and will reap the rewards. But if you think Jones didn’t know this was how it was all going to play out, think again.
The only thing he could do is try to make his star sweat and blink first. Elliott showed the appropriate level of resolve. People will talk until their blue in the face today about the details of this deal, but it’s important to keep in mind that the big, sexy numbers aren’t usually the most real and every player is one hit away from never playing again.
Jones didn’t lose this standoff. He’s as happy as anyone this morning.