Jerry Jones Says Ezekiel Elliott Is 'Cornerstone Player' for Dallas Cowboys

It's no surprise Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was able to sign running back Ezekiel Elliott before the 2019 season kicked off. And we now have a better idea of how and why they were able to get it done. Jones and Elliott held a press conference on Thursday to announce the contract signing and Jones explained what Elliott means to the organization.

"It goes without saying that he's a cornerstone player for the Dallas Cowboys, Jones said. "We're all proud to have him."

What Jones had to say about Elliott during the press conference echoes what he had to say when he was on CNBC shortly after the news dropped on Elliott agreeing the to deal.

"I just turned my pockets inside out, it means I'm $100 million lighter as of this morning, Jones said jokingly. "Zeke has been arguably our best player, I'm not trying to be unfair to anyone else. But he's an incremental part to our success. We're glad to have him booked in. We're glad to have in on the team."

Jones knows signing Elliott to a monster contract is a little risky considering running backs don't have a long shelf life. However, Jones mentions they paid a running back top-money over 20 years ago and it turned out to be a great decision.

"Running backs are short-lived," Jones added. "Although we had what I considered to be one of the top five greatest ones in Emmitt Smith and Emmitt ran the ball for 13 years. So you don't have to have a four or five-year career to be a running back. On the other hand, Zeke allows us to create such problems for the defense, we can open it up to our passing, open it up for Dak Prescott."

On Wednesday morning, Elliott agreed to a six-year, $90 million deal with $50 million guaranteed making it the richest contract for a running back in NFL history. Elliott signed the contract on Wednesday afternoon and he practiced with the team that same day. The Ohio State alum will play on Sunday against the New York Giants, but his snaps could be limited since he missed all of training camp.

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Nevertheless, signing Elliott is big for the Cowboys as they look to defend their NFC East Crown. If their star running back can stay healthy, they could be a team that reaches the Super Bowl in February.