By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8
ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported this morning that Dalla Cowboy running back Ezekiel Elliott will sit out the entire 2019 season if he doesn’t get a contract extension.
While we knew he was “vacationing” in Mexico and not attending training camp, I don’t think anyone believed that he wouldn’t eventually get himself to Dallas.
But he reportedly told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones back in January that he wouldn’t play a single game without an extension and regardless of how many fines the team/league heap upon him, it sounds like he was serious.
Which I find to be shameful behavior!
.@espn’s @JosinaAnderson is reporting that a source told her #Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott will not play in 2019 #NFL season without a new contract. She also adds that #DallasCowboys don’t expect negotiations to go that far. #NFL100 pic.twitter.com/WJy2OcPqfw
— Stew Myrick (@StewMyrick) August 6, 2019
I know we saw something similar last year with Pittsburgh Steeler RB Le’veon Bell sitting out the 2018 season, but there are big differences here. First, Bell was not under contract. He refused to sign the Franchise Tag that the team offered to him so there were no fines involved. He had no legal responsibility to show up for anything. And he didn’t.
While some think it wasn’t a big deal, that RB James Connor did a nice job replacing him, you can’t ignore the fact that the Steelers ended up second in the AFC North and didn’t make the playoffs. All Bell’s fault? Maybe not, but I absolutely believe it was a key factor in their underwhelming season.
One of the most powerful owners in the league, Jerry Jones doesn’t ever respond well to threats. With quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper both in the last year of their contracts, it seems awfully egotistical of Elliott to force the team to deal with him now instead of at the end of the season with his teammates.
Cowboys’ owner and GM Jerry Jones said he believes a contract extension will be reached with Ezekiel Elliott, but the organization will not bend in its desire to do a deal that will allow it to keep its talent “under the same roof.” https://t.co/3Ucco2eNNn
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 2, 2019
From a fantasy football perspective, I sure hope you haven’t held your draft yet! Zeke is probably a top five selection if he’s playing, but this uncertainty will more than just his “draft stock.”
Do you take Dak Prescott as your QB when he won’t have a running game? Who is the backup RB…. Darius Jackson? Tony Pollard?
How about Amari Cooper or Jason Witten? Witten is coming back to the NFL in order to WIN…. how does the impending loss of Elliott impact his season? You have to wonder if he’s having second thoughts about putting his body through a brutal season if the team is going to lose such an important piece of it’s offense.
Frankly, this whole situation is beyond disappointing to me. Elliott has a CONTRACT. In good faith, he was drafted, signed and paid by the Cowboys to perform on the field. They stood by him when his off-the-field antics could have caused serious difficulties. And how does he repay them? I’m sorry, but a contract is a contract. He can sit out next year if he’s not happy with any new deal that’s offered, but he needs to get himself into camp now.
That’s my two cents worth – what are your thoughts?
Talk football with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8