Dallas Cowboys rookies signed and sealed; now it’s time to deliver
As the Dallas Cowboys rookies start to sign their first contracts, let’s look a bit closer at those deals.
Within the last week the Dallas Cowboys rookies have begun to sign their contracts. A variety of players, taken right across the draft board with differences in wage and expectations. Let’s look at which players have signed and what their deals look like.
Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back
Ezekiel Elliott became the Cowboys highest draft pick in 25 years when selected 4th overall in April. The running back has signed a 4 year deal (with a fifth year option) worth approximately $24.9 million and includes a $16.3 million signing bonus.
Elliott will be earning less than DeMarco Murray who opted to move to the Eagles rather than sign a $24million deal with the Cowboys in 2015. Murray who flopped in Philly is now on a $25 million four year contract with the Tennessee Titans.
Zeke is still just 20 years old; while no NFL experience may be considered a negative he’s going to be fit fresh and focused going into the season. This is clearly something that the Cowboys thought about when making the decision to draft the young man.
"“Running backs, after they have had some wear and tear on them, may not be the right investment as they go forward. It is real easy to sit back and say, ‘Well, the value of the running back is coming this way financially in terms of cap dollars.’ We actually have done some work and believe that some of their best years, the great ones, are in their first five years. So you are maybe getting the best part of the running back in his first five years versus the second contract.” – Stephen Jones, Cowboys executive vice president"
Are the Cowboys right that a running backs most productive are the first five? Cowboys great Emmitt Smith ran for 7183 yards and 71 rushing touchdowns in his first five years. In the following five years he had 6780 yards and 65 rushing touchdowns.
Frank Gore has played in the league for ten years. His first five years saw him rush for 5561 yards and score 32 rushing touchdowns. The following five years saw a slight decrease in yards- 5512 but with the same number of touchdowns scored.
Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch have been the dominant backs in the past few seasons. Both were drafted in the first round of the 2007 draft. Peterson will go down as one of the best running backs in history; but his numbers support the Cowboys concept.
In his first five years Peterson rushed for 6752 yards and scored a massive 64 rushing touchdowns. The past 4 years have seen a significant drop with 4923 yards and 34 touchdowns.
Marshawn Lynch is much like his character the odd one out here! He rushed for 4542 yards and 35 touchdowns in the first five years of his career. But in the past 4 seasons- one of which he was injured for he ran for 4570 yards and 39 touchdowns.
Even if the Cowboys were just to get five years of significant numbers from Elliott it would be hard to argue against their decision. With the likes of Tony Romo and Jason Witten in their twilight years, Ezekiel Elliott can be on hand to take of the mantle as the face of America’s Team.
Next: Sign, Seal, Deliver - Jaylon Smith