Dave Campo: Ezekiel Elliott’s holdout is not a bad thing

Dave Campo, Dallas Cowboys (Ronald Martinez/Allsport)
Dave Campo, Dallas Cowboys (Ronald Martinez/Allsport) /

Despite the negative reaction to Ezekiel Elliott’s holdout of training camp, one former Dallas Cowboys head coach actually thinks it’s not a bad thing.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has led the NFL in both rushing yardage and carries in two of his first three seasons as a professional. Now, the 24-year old is skipping Cowboys’ training camp until presumably a new financial deal can be reached.

Elliott is scheduled to make a base salary of $3.8 million in 2019, that according to spotrac.com. Because the Cowboys picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal as a former first round selection, that salary jumps to just over $9 million in 2020, making his current average salary approximately $6.2 million over the next two years.

The highest paid running back in the NFL, the Los Angeles Rams’ Todd Gurley, will rake in a yearly average of $14.3 million over the life of his current contract according to OverTheCap.com. In fact, nine NFL running backs currently have a higher yearly average salary than Elliott going into 2019.

And while many believe Elliott’s absence from training camp is a negative thing, one former head coach of America’s Team doesn’t feel the same way,

Here’s what Dave Campo told DallasCowboys.com’s Nick Eatman during a brief interview at training camp this week when asked about Elliott’s holdout.

"” … I don’t think Zeke wants to be here this early in camp. And I don’t think they want him here this early in camp because they want to keep him healthy. And he doesn’t need every single rep like some of the young guys do … No, it’s not a bad thing. I don’t think so anyway, but I’m sure that’s part of it.”"

The 72-year old Campo was the head coach of the Cowboys from 2000-2002, and posted three consecutive 5-11 season-ending records. He does have three Super Bowl rings as a member of Dallas’ coaching staff during the early to mid-1990s. Campo is now a football consultant at the University of Southern California (USC).

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Dave Campo does make a great point about the Ezekiel Elliott’s holdout. Perhaps Elliott is using this time away from training camp not only to attempt to renegotiate his current contract, but to help his body recover from the punishment it received during his league-leading 304 carries last year. And despite how much the team and fans would love to have Zeke in camp early on, perhaps there is also a feeling that his presence is not truly required at this point. But as the regular season approaches, that sentiment will certainly change.