Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys have agreed to a six-year, $90 million deal extension. This ends the most dramatic holdout in the NFL, which was still going on just days before the season started.
The deal is bigger than the four-year, $60 million deal that Todd Gurley got last year, making Elliott the highest-paid running back in the league. It also changes the market for top players at the position once again. Reports say that Elliott’s deal will also have more guaranteed money than Gurley’s. Zeke will get $50 million from the Cowboys, while Gurley will get $45 million from the Rams.
Gurley’s contract was said to be a sticking point in negotiations between Elliott and the Cowboys, but it looks like both sides have come to an understanding that will give the Dallas superstar a chance to play in Week 1.
Elliott’s delay looked like it would go into the regular season for a while because both he and the Cowboys wouldn’t give up on what they wanted.
Elliott wanted to get paid like a top-tier running back, which he has shown himself to be in two of the three seasons he has played the full season. He has led the NFL in rushing in two of those three seasons. On the other hand, the Cowboys had a lot of other players to pay, and since Elliott still had two years left on his rookie deal, they probably wanted to put off paying him as long as possible.
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Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, said after the team’s last preseason game, “Right now, I’m treating it as if he’s going to miss regular-season games.”
The holdout looked like it would last until the start of the season, but on Tuesday, a deal was made. This brought the Cowboys back together with their most dangerous offensive tool and made sure Elliott would stay with the team until 2026.