Ezekiel Elliott contract details completely walk back Jerry Jones' moronic vision

New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys
New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

There's little reason for Dallas Cowboys fans to have issue with the signing of Ezekiel Elliott. Though Elliott is far from the superstar he was early in his career, he can still be effective in a running back by committee. He's excellent in pass protection, has a nose for the end zone and is an outstanding teammate.

Even better is that Elliott has already revealed he's excited to mentor the Cowboys' young stable of running backs.

There's really only one way this move can blow up in Dallas' face: If Jerry Jones' vision of Elliott as a starting running back comes to fruition. Even though Elliott's 2023 stats ranked near the bottom of the league, Jones still views Elliott as a RB1.

Perhaps Jones wants to throw teams off the scent of the Cowboys' potential plans to add another rusher. There are a handful of possible trade options in that regard. The going rate for RBs suggests they could be had for a day three pick -- perhaps as little as a six- or seventh-rounder.

It turns out fans in Dallas need not worry about Jones' vision. Elliott's full contract details are out and they prove the team isn't fully committed to the two-time rushing champ.

Ezekiel Elliott contract details with Cowboys walk back Jerry Jones' previous praise

Elliott essentially got a veteran minimum contract. It carries a max value of $3 million and includes multiple incentives.

Per ESPN's Cowboys reporter Todd Archer, Elliott has a $1.25 million base salary and $375k signing bonus that are fully guaranteed. The incentives are worth up to $1 million. He can make $250k by totaling 1,100 scrimmage yards and if the Cowboys make the playoffs. He'll earn an extra $250k if he scores 10 touchdowns and Dallas qualifies for the playoffs. $500k is headed Zeke's way if he plays 51% of the snaps and the team makes the playoffs.

Those terms prove the Cowboys aren't fully committed to Elliott, which is the complete opposite of what Jones implied during the draft. It's clear Jones embellished about Elliott to create a stir amongst fans and the media and ensure his Cowboys are a prominent talking point.

It thankfully seems like the team is keeping its options open at running back. This contract is a best-case scenario. The hope is that Elliott proves during training camp that he still has some juice and can be part of a RB committee. In the slim chance that Zeke isn't one of the top three backs on the roster, Dallas can move out without breaking a sweat.

The latter scenario would arguably sting worse than his release last March. Luckily for Elliott, his current competition is composed of Rico Dowdle, journeyman Royce Freeman, former undrafted free agent Malik Davis, who has 38 career carries, and Deuce Vaughn, who averaged less than 3.0 yards per carry as a rookie and offers almost nothing in pass protection.

Assuming that Elliott makes the 53-man roster, his contract details all but confirm that Jones was once again posturing to the media. As much as the Cowboys respect Zeke, they aren't fully committed to him as their RB1.

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