I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the lack of headlines about high-profile Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott so far this offseason.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was in the news early and often in previous years. And I am beginning to wonder if Elliott has finally been able to turn the corner and mature right before our very own eyes.
For those who have been on this roller coaster ride from the beginning, it has played with everyone’s emotions. I have to admit that I grew a bit tired of all the Elliott criticism. After all, Zeke had been the engine to the Cowboys’ offense.
Elliott was suspended six games in 2017 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy for his alleged role in a domestic violence case. Although his suspension didn’t come until midseason, the alleged altercation happened during the NFL offseason.
There was also an incident in 2019 where Elliott bumped into a security guard in Las Vegas, Nevada which resulted in the security guard pressing charges against the Cowboy rusher. Zeke was briefly handcuffed but not arrested nor charged for the incident. He was, however, summoned to the league office once again where he had to speak to the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell.
This past offseason heading into training camp was the infamous Cabo San Lucas holdout during training camp because the All-Pro running back wanted a contract extension. Elliott ultimately received a six-year, $90 million dollar extension just before the start of the regular season. And Zeke has been able to stay out of the headlines ever since.
With no extension to fight for and an apparent maturity-level elevation, I believe Elliott is primed to have one of the most productive seasons of his career. Zeke might not get as many touches or yards in new Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy’s system but his proficiency level should rise.
A lot of social media and sports talk experts have implied that Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones‘ eventual departure is due in part to what Dallas Cowboys paid Elliott. Some people argue that the Cowboys paid too much, too early, or the fact that they paid him at all and didn’t let him walk as a mistake.
I find all of these arguments are without merit. I get that stats and analytics measure many things but it cannot tell you the determination of an individual. I feel like Elliott is going to prove a lot of people wrong and have the last laugh.
I do hope that I have not given Ezekiel Elliott the dreaded kiss of death like announcers seem to do with placekickers during a live football broadcast. But Zeke seems to have figured it out. So let’s hope he continues to have a quiet and uneventful offseason.