Ezekiel Elliott isn’t concerned about his reduced workload or his contract status, even though the Cowboys have recently indicated that there isn’t a set timetable for the two sides reaching a new deal.
When asked Wednesday about the team’s decision to manage his carries so that he won’t get worn down, Elliott simply replied: “I haven’t worn down yet.”
The move comes after a season in which Elliott carried the ball 43 more times than any other player in the league. He also set a career-high with 77 receptions while rushing for 1,434 yards. He played an integral role in 2018 as Dallas won the NFC East title as he touched the ball on more than 35 percent of Cowboys’ offensive snaps in 2018, even after he rested during Week 17.
“It’s just physics,” running backs coach Gary Brown said last week at rookie minicamp (per USA Today). “Year after year with that type of workload, eventually anyone’s going to slow down. We’re trying to preempt that and take care of him now.”
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As for Elliott’s contract extension? The running back said, “I’m not concerned.” Instead, he will block out the outside noise by continuing to do what he’s always done.
“Just go out there and play football,” Elliott said (via Dallas Morning News). “Do what I’ve been doing.”
Executive vice president Stephen Jones said last week that Elliott is “a guy we want to have here long term.”
“The only reason you say, well maybe he’s not at the front (of the extension order) is because he’s got this year, then he’s got another year on his tender. … But Zeke’s every bit as important.”
Elliott, 23, is set to make $3.9 million in 2019. The Cowboys picked up the fifth-year option of his rookie contract last month, which will pay him $9.1 million for the 2020 season.
While Jones said Elliott will have to wait his turn, he also said he understands Elliott’s desire for a new deal.
“I understand completely. Oh gosh, do I?” Jones said (via ProFootballTalk). “I just think you’ve got to work through these things. I can’t imagine Zeke doesn’t know what we think about him. … But I totally understand why all these guys feel like, ‘Hey, it’s my turn.’ ‘No, it’s my turn.’ I mean, I get it. These guys are playing their tails off for us, and they’re playing at high levels.”