Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is on the cusp of signing a massive contract extension, which means that he will be rejoining his team after a holdout in Cabo. Zeke is likely to end the weekend as the highest-paid running back in the entire NFL, topping Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams and fulfilling a goal from the offseason. Life should be good for the former Ohio State star and fourth overall pick in 2016.
As it turns out, the legend of Zeke is fading in Columbus, Ohio. With the first game of Ohio State's season taking place on Saturday, the stadium known as the Horseshoe was filled with a raucous crowd. During the game against Florida Atlantic, the staff began showing highlights of former Ohio State players that landed in the NFL. Surprisingly, Zeke's appearance on the screen was met with a smattering of applause and a significant number of boos.
That’s a bummer Braxton Miller was waived from the Browns!
While highlighting former players in the NFL on the screen during today’s game at the ‘Shoe, they showed Braxton Miller & the crowd roared. (When they showed Ezekiel Elliot, there was little applause & audible boos 😳.)— Alissa (Uh-LEASE-Ah) (@AlissaHenryTV) August 31, 2019
Considering that Zeke rushed for 3,961 yards and 43 touchdowns during his three-year stint at the 'Shoe, it was expected that he would receive massive applause. After all, he performed like a superstar during his collegiate career and led the Buckeyes to multiple victories in big games.
However, he actually received far less fanfare than some of the other players that moved on to NFL careers. For example, quarterback-turned-receiver Braxton Miller was also shown on the jumbotron, and the fans showed their love for him. He was a third-round pick by the Texans in 2016, joining Elliott as a rookie in the NFL, but only spent two seasons with Houston before being waived in 2018.
Miller has since spent time with both the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles but is a free agent. Injuries and underwhelming play have limited Miller as a pro, but the Ohio State faithful still adore him.
With Elliott receiving less fanfare than his former teammate, it's important to determine the reason. Are the Ohio State fans upset about the off-the-field incidents that have led to a six-game suspension and other headlines in the tabloids? Or, are the fans tired of hearing about the contract negotiations and the holdout?
At this point, the answer is unclear, but it's very likely that the public opinion could change once Elliott is back with the Cowboys and earning a ton of loot.