The Dallas Cowboys opted against offering Ezekiel Elliott a reduced deal, despite the fact they’d prefer to have him back on the roster.
Dallas was afraid to hurt Ezekiel Elliott’s feelings, despite having paid him over $70 million since he was drafted in 2016.
The Cowboys relationship with Zeke has been a rollercoaster of sorts, but Elliott has definitely lost a step over the last few years. So, when Dallas had an out heading into this offseason, it was not shocking to see them void Elliott’s contract altogether.
What is surprising, however, is their lack of interest in bringing back Elliott, who would be an upgrade over most backup running backs available in free agency. Instead, Dallas opted to sign Ronald Jones, who will compete for snaps behind Tony Pollard.
NFL Rumors: Cowboys didn’t want to hurt Ezekiel Elliott’s feelings
Stephen Jones thought offering Elliott’s a reduced contract would be insulting.
“The last thing we want to do is do anything that would be insulting to a player, to a great player, like Zeke, who was one of the best players to ever put on a Cowboys uniform,” Stephen Jones said. “There are sensitivities when you get into making offers.”
Rather, offering Zeke a reduced deal would have covered the Cowboys bases. Had Elliott chosen free agency over what Dallas wanted to pay him, then the Jones family would have done their due diligence. Now? Not so much.
“Sometimes the best thing is to let them get a feel for what the market is,” Jones said. “When you’re talking about great players — and that’s what makes them great: They think a lot, not in a selfish way, but they perceive themselves as a great player and they are. It just becomes how do you make the business work. It always boils down to that unfortunately.”
An Elliott return to Dallas was unlikely to begin with. Yet, the things Elliott claims to value — winning and a share of the carries — can be found with the Cowboys.
Now that’s he’s on the open market, Elliott can go anywhere he wants, which includes his rumored interest in the Philadelphia Eagles.