Latest incident should put Ezekiel Elliott extension talk on hold

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 24: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys kneels before taking on the Seattle Seahawks at AT&T Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 24: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys kneels before taking on the Seattle Seahawks at AT&T Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Following his most recent run-in with the police, the Dallas Cowboys must start preparing themselves for life without Ezekiel Elliott.

Since drafting Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys have been in the playoffs twice in three years. And the main reason they haven’t been in the postseason all three years is due to Elliott as well. Specifically, his absence.

After a spectacular rookie season, where Elliott led the league in rushing with a career-high 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns, Zeke’s second-year was expected to be even better. But the possibility of a pending suspension due to a suspect domestic violence incident haunted the young rusher and the roster at the start of the 2017 season.

Finally, the NFL levied a six-game suspension against Elliott during the heart of the Cowboys’ regular season. And without Zeke in the lineup, Dallas went 3-3 and just missed the playoffs posting a disappointing 9-7 record.

Elliott has been without serious incident ever since that suspension. And the three-year veteran was reportedly wanting to get a hefty contract extension this offseason. Those plans may be on hold now after Elliott has been involved in yet another incident.

According to TMZ Sports, Elliott was placed in handcuffs early Saturday morning while in the parking lot of the Electric Daisy Carnival music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. TMZ Sports acquired video of what appears to be Elliott in a discussion with a female, who was later confirmed to be his girlfriend, attempting to block her path with his body.

Soon, staffers at the event stepped in and Elliott is seen confronting one of them. As Zeke nears him, the staffer falls backward into a metal gate that gives way. It’s unclear in the video if the staffer tripped or if he was pushed backward. Eventually, the police got involved and handcuffed Elliott. He was eventually released without being arrested or charged with anything.

Still, this incident will likely be investigated by the NFL and could result in yet another suspension of the young superstar running back. This is yet more evidence that the Cowboys should not be so quick to hand Elliott a long-term deal. And the team must invest in more talent at running back.

This offseason, the Cowboys choose to ignore several serviceable free agent running backs. Instead, Dallas used their fourth-round selection to add Memphis playmaker Tony Pollard to the roster. In the seventh round, the Cowboys also drafted Ohio State running back Mike Weber. But Weber suffered a knee injury during rookie minicamp. Although it appears the rookie will avoid surgery, for now, it’s unclear how the injury could impact him moving forward.

As for Elliott himself, his status with the Cowboys currently remains unchanged. But this latest incident must surely give both ownership and the front office pause about offering the 23-year old a long-term extension any time soon.

There was never any rush for the Cowboys to get a contract extension done for Elliott in the first place. He’s still under his original rookie deal through the end of this upcoming season. And Dallas elected to pick up Elliott’s fifth-year option just last month, making him a Cowboy through 2020.

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If the Dallas Cowboys wanted to keep Ezekiel Elliott on the roster past 2020, they always have to option of using the franchise tag to do so. Still, Elliott could elect to hold out if he doesn’t get a contract extension sooner or later. But he may be losing leverage to do so following this latest incident. Especially if it results in his second suspension in four years.