The Dallas Cowboys have finally done what was viewed as nearly impossible. America's Team was able to get a contract extension squared away for running back Ezekiel Elliott, and now he is the highest-paid player at his position. According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport and Jane Slater, the deal is done. With a six-year, $90 million deal in hand that includes roughly half guaranteed, Zeke can rejoin his team for the critical Wednesday practice and suit up for the season-opening battle against the New York Giants. More importantly, he will be with the team for a very long time considering that this contract keeps him in town through 2026.
Of course, the amount of money that was shelled out to the means that the Cowboys are investing considerable capital into a player that they selected fourth overall. The hope is that this faith will pay dividends in the form of at least one Super Bowl victory.
For some fans of the Cowboys, however, this move means that the team just mortgaged the future to make Zeke happy in the short term. Does his new deal negate big-money extensions for quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper? They both will be free agents following the season, and fans truly do not want to see them depart for another team.
Unexpectedly, the reactions to this massive contract were extremely mixed. Some were fired up that Zeke will be in the building for a long period of time while others were frustrated that owner Jerry Jones "folded" during negotiations.
The Zeke deal is done, and now he can report to practice on Wednesday in order to take part in the game plan install for the season opener. More importantly, he will be available for all 16 games and can help lead this team to the playoffs. There is nobody happier in the NFL than Cowboys fans at this moment, and they clearly have their sights set on Super Bowl LIV.
Cowboys fans right now... pic.twitter.com/M9hnskjMt6— Chad Baker (@ChadBlue_) September 4, 2019
The strategy employed on Tuesday was to stay awake as late as possible in hopes of seeing the Zeke deal get done before the day was over. Many stayed up until the wee hours of Wednesday morning but didn't see any moves happen. Instead, they just went to bed tired and frustrated, only to wake up a mere few hours later to the news of Zeke's contract. What a way to start the day.prevnext
While all of the Cowboys fans and the NFL world, in general, is celebrating that Ezekiel Elliott's contract negotiations have been completed, there is one figure that is simply wondering when it will be his turn to make headlines with a massive deal. Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon has been holding out for a deal of his own, but the team postponed talks until the end of the season. It's highly unlikely that he will be inking a new deal unless he is traded to another suitor.
Melvin Gordon: pic.twitter.com/nfv9v3K2mb— KP (@KTimothy_10) September 4, 2019
There is no denying that this deal was impressive. When numbers began floating around on Tuesday morning, fans began doing double-takes. "$90 million for Zeke?" was the common response, but the length of the deal justified the amount of money invested. The Rams signed Todd Gurley to a $57.5 million contract, but his deal was only for four seasons. With an extra two years, the Cowboys could add some serious cash for Zeke.prevnext
Whenever Ezekiel Elliott is concerned, there will be a never-ending stream of comments about his off-the-field incidents. Whether it was getting into a wreck on the way to practice or an altercation in Las Vegas, these different incidents will be mentioned by those that love and hate the Cowboys. Now that Zeke is even wealthier, there will be jokes about his ability to pay for whatever altercations are on the horizon.
Now he can pay other people to get in altercations for him...✊🏾— *99*™️ (@BlaxOut99) September 4, 2019
There is a clear divide in the reactions to Ezekiel Elliott's contract. Obviously, this deal was met with skepticism by many that thought team owner Jerry Jones was simply overpaying for a solid running back. Others, however, couldn't be more fired up by the prospect. With Elliott under contract, they believe that the Super Bowl victories are inevitable, as are even more rushing titles. Zeke has led the league in rushing twice in three years, and they anticipate this happening even more.
Another rushing title coming to a NFL NEAR YOU! pic.twitter.com/o4imXyF9m9— ✭✭✭Cowboy's 4Life✭✭✭ (@CowboysTilDeath) September 4, 2019
The world of NFL fans is a very unique place. Some only think about their team and the prospects of winning a Super Bowl; others, however, have their sights set on different horizons. For example, there were many people that saw the Ezekiel Elliott contract news, and their immediate concern was for fantasy football. With Zeke back in the building, is it time to drop rookie Tony Pollard from the roster and find a different option on the waiver wire, or should he be kept in case of injury?
drop Pollard in fantasy?— Trev👌 (@tRevAlex85) September 4, 2019
Who really led the contract negotiations? Was the famed businessman Jerry Jones leading the charge, or was it really Zeke that was serving as the puppetmaster to get his payday? The responses to Ian Rapoport's news clearly show a divide in opinion, but there are many that simply believe Zeke got his way. Whether he used bullying to get paid has not been determined just yet, but there are many fans that truly believe it happened.
Why Zeke gotta bully Jerry like that— Young HotBoy Carlito (@Jmoneyvicious13) September 4, 2019
Well, team owner Jerry Jones made sure to pay Ezekiel Elliott prior to the season starting in order for his running back to rejoin the team and lead the way. However, he achieved this goal by handing Zeke a jaw-dropping amount of money. Did Jones limit his future ability to negotiate with quarterback Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper? Honestly, the answer is unclear. This is a true "wait-and-see" scenario for the Cowboys and the fans of the team.
Jerrah did what he said he wasn't doing 🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣 pic.twitter.com/iNTQgTWYqm— BEETLE (@beetlebayley219) September 4, 2019
Was handing Ezekiel Elliott a six-year contract worth $90 million a smart move? The answer is yet to be determined, but there is a vocal portion of the NFL community that doesn't see how this will pay off. In fact, many actually believe that Jones and the Dallas Cowboys are essentially burning money by awarding Zeke with this mega-deal. Getting paid may have been his previous top priority, but now the running back has to justify that he was worth the payday.prev