Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott not feeling pressure over contract, future with team

OXNARD, Calif. — With no assured cash on Ezekiel Elliott’s contract past 2022, many surprise if that is his final yr with the Dallas Cowboys.

Elliott is not a type of questioning.

“I feel it is a massive season, however I feel you’ll be able to’t look too far down the street,” Elliott mentioned. “I feel if I concentrate on every single day, if I concentrate on having a great day of camp, if I concentrate on taking it week by week, I feel every part will deal with itself. And I do not suppose there’s actually a purpose to look that far down the street. I feel if I deal with my enterprise every single day, then I’ll be in a reasonably good scenario on the finish of the season.”

Elliott’s $12.4 million base wage is totally assured as a part of the $90 million extension he signed in 2019. The Cowboys have a neater path financially to maneuver on from him in 2023 as a result of there isn’t any extra assured cash in his contract. He is about to make $10.9 million in 2023.

Elliott’s per-game dashing common has dropped every season, from 108.7 yards per sport in 2016, his rookie yr, to 58.9 in 2021.

A giant purpose for the drop final yr was {a partially} torn posterior ligament in his proper knee, which he suffered within the fourth sport of the season. Elliott was on tempo for greater than 1,500 yards by the primary 5 video games final season with 5 touchdowns. He topped 69 yards simply as soon as within the closing 12 video games and completed with 1,002 yards and 10 touchdowns on 237 carries.

For greater than a month he wore a cumbersome brace on his knee for added safety because the harm restricted his burst.

“It positively was irritating and positively irritating sure elements of the yr, but it surely’s soccer,” Elliott mentioned. “I feel right this moment is likely to be the one day everybody’s going to be 100%. From right here on out, everybody’s going to have a pair bumps and bruises and nobody’s going to be 100, so simply attempting to do every part I can off the sphere to ensure I protect my well being and am prepared for Sundays.”

Elliott by no means thought of lacking a sport. He has missed only one sport in his profession because of harm.

“Top of the listing on his redeeming qualities and there is plenty of gamers you see across the league who if issues aren’t excellent, they’re going to sit down. That’s not Zeke,” govt vp Stephen Jones mentioned. “He desires to be on the market for his team, his teammates and I like the hell out of that and what 21’s all about. One factor’s for positive: We’re going to get 21’s finest effort, week in and week out. And he is an amazing soccer participant.”

Elliott admitted to some concern the knee was not therapeutic quick sufficient after the season ended, however surgical procedure was by no means an choice.

“I used to be slightly anxious at the start of the season, like, ‘Dang, this factor nonetheless sort of feels slightly iffy,'” Elliott mentioned. “But I’ll say in all probability a month or two into the offseason, a month or two getting again into work, and I’ll say in all probability by the point OTAs hit, I used to be again 100.”

Elliott was capable of work with his private coach, Josh Hicks, earlier than coaching camp.

“It’s powerful being injured and sort of feeling such as you’ve misplaced a step,” Elliott mentioned. “So it positively helped me get again to shifting on the velocity I used to be used to and bringing that confidence again to myself — again to my physique, again to my thoughts that I may make these cuts.”

With Elliott and Tony Pollard, the Cowboys consider they’ve top-of-the-line working again tandems within the NFL. Pollard had a career-high 719 yards on 130 carries final yr. He additionally caught 39 passes for 337 yards, which has led some to name for a extra equitable break up in touches.

Pollard and Elliott may see extra motion on the sphere collectively this yr because the Cowboys look to exchange a few of receiver Amari Cooper’s manufacturing in several methods. But Elliott will stay a key determine.

“Zeke Elliott is considered one of our rocks on this team,” McCarthy mentioned. “He’s a keystone participant. The communication, his means to do all the additional little stuff and people are issues I clearly get to take a look at and be part of. The further work he places in pre-practice, post-practice, Tuesdays, I imply he is within the quarterback conferences within the morning. The bodily a part of it — he overcame lots to play and I feel that speaks volumes about him and also you want these kind of people to win championships.”

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