Dallas Cowboys: Is it Smart for Ezekiel Elliott to Holdout?

Since the first day he suited up for the Dallas Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott has lived up to the hype surrounding his name and scouting report. But, there has been a black cloud over his head as well. Elliott has been involved in a few off-field incidents that have left a bad taste in the mouths of fans. Management, however, has been very patient.

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With having employed Hall of Fame players like Michael Irvin, the Cowboys Management is no stranger to watching star players experience “growing pains”. While each situation is totally different, both players missed time in their careers due to bad decisions. And, obviously, both players left an indelible mark on the Cowboys offense when on the field.

According to an article on Insidethestar.com, Elliott performs so consistently that the Cowboys have formed a “run first” identity. Elliott’s stats back this up, as he has only had one season with a rushing yard total less than 1,000 yards. Much like Michael Irvin in his day, or even Emmitt Smith, the Cowboys lean heavily on Elliott. More often than not, he has proven to be up for the challenge. With the current contract situation and the current state of the roster, it is crystal clear who is the number one running back.

Especially with his production on the field, it is very clear that the Cowboys should re-sign the young man and soon. Also, with the contracts of other notable players being decided, Elliott can use it to his advantage. Comparing his production to the likes of Todd Gurley – a Super Bowl caliber running back – a large payday could be in the card for the Cowboys workhorse. But, could he be going at the process all wrong? With the events of the past, is it even a smart idea for the Dallas Cowboys to re-sign the young running back?

The Player’s Perspective

It’s no secret that the Dallas Cowboys need Ezekiel Elliott. Looking further down the depth chart, one can see that the Cowboys have rather unproven players to back up their prized runner. Rookie running back Tony Pollard, journeyman running back Darius Jackson, Mike Weber Jr. and Jordan Chunn round off this position. Interestingly, it would seem that management is putting full trust in him. And, it looks like he knows it.

Each player and coach is a business within the organization. When they outperform their contract, the player or coach should be rewarded. Zeke is fully aware.

From Elliott’s perspective, he’d like to leapfrog Todd Gurley who put up a similar performance last season. Gurley was given a $57.5 million extension by the Los Angeles Rams. Pro Football Reference lists Gurley’s rushing yards at 4,547. On the other hand, Elliott has had a grand total of 4,048 rushing yards.

In many other stats, Elliott also edged the likes of Todd Gurley. Could Elliott’s performances on the field balance out some of the negative behavior? It did for one other standout player, as mentioned previously, Michael Irvin. In truth, Elliott just wants to be financially secure and have a solid place on the Dallas Cowboys. Now, here’s the situation from the management side of the contract talks.

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Management Perspective On Extension 

The Dallas Cowboys will have Elliott under contract for the next two years. Regardless of what could be said in terms of contract talks, he will still be a member of the Dallas Cowboys unless something drastic happens. From the outside looking in, a contract hold-out seems very unnecessary. With two years left on the contract, any player in this situation could put in one more year of work to further prove his own point.

True – being a player is a business. Conversely, being a team executive is also a business. Each executive, whether it be GM or otherwise, has to make decisions to put the team and themselves in a position for success moving forward. At this stage in his career, a contract holdout does not look to be a wise decision. With just two years on his contract, Elliott could easily prove how worthy he is of an extension for one more season.

After another great season rushing, Ezekiel Elliott could run with an even larger chip on his shoulder. Sure, he did more than enough recently to prove his point. But, then again, the Dallas Cowboys should re-sign him as soon as possible. Elliott has every right to do what he needs to do to prove his point. Whether it’s to continue to miss training camp and subject himself to fines or prove his point on the field. The Cowboys and Elliott would both benefit if he proved his point on the field, however. In the meantime, Mike Weber Jr. and Tony Pollard – both rookies – have a chance to familiarize themselves with the playbook and team, while also solidifying a possible spot on the team.

How do you feel the Dallas Cowboys should handle Ezekiel Elliott? Leave a comment below.

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