Dallas Cowboys Must Keep $18 Million Running Back Ezekiel Elliott

In 2022, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys face a major issue with Ezekiel Elliott's contract, but losing him would be worse.

The Dallas Cowboys have resolved Dak Prescott's contract after years of offseason uncertainty. Focus shifts to other players, as running back Ezekiel Elliott's contract and RB1 position are top worries.

Jerry Jones and the Cowboys must get Elliott back for 2022 despite his high salary and Tony Pollard's outplaying.

The Cowboys drafted Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall in 2017. That top runner pick paid off instantly. Elliott made the Pro Bowl and All-Pro team as a rookie and again in year three after a suspension-shortened second season.

He topped the league in carries, yards, and yards per game in his first three seasons.

Elliott held out in training camp for a new contract despite the team picking up his fifth-year option early in 2019. They received a six-year, $90 million agreement with $50M guaranteed from the Cowboys before the 2019 season.

Elliott's contract had a manageable $6.8M cap hit in 2021. That number rises to $18.2M in 2022. That plus Elliott's inconsistent performance in 2021 may be reasons to trade him, but Jerry Jones and the Cowboys wouldn't do it this year.

Contract dead cap: $30.08M for Elliott. In 2022, cutting or trading the back will cost Dallas approximately $12M more on its salary cap.

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