The Dallas Cowboys are staring at very difficult decisions at running back entering the offseason.
Ezekiel Elliott is no longer the #1 running back on the team unless we’re going by jersey sales. Even that might be changing as Tony Pollard has won over Cowboys Nation by being a more explosive and efficient running back than the former No. 4 overall draft pick.
But there’s a slight problem. Pollard is set to become a free agent in March. And Elliott’s $16.7M cap hit makes it a challenge to keep both. Also, Elliott is set to earn $10.9 million in salary. Does the team want to pay him if they’re interested in keeping Pollard around?
It’s a tough situation for a position in which the Cowboys were responsible for breaking the market as no other RB got a deal as expensive as Zeke’s after his extension in 2019.
The Cowboys are likely looking to avoid making that same mistake.
The running back is willing to accept a pay cut this offseason, recognizing that a reduced salary can better fit him into the franchise’s plans, a person familiar with Elliott’s thinking told The Dallas Morning News on Monday afternoon.
You can read the full report here.
Those are big news considering Elliott can still provide some value to the Cowboys. He had 716 rushing yards and nine touchdowns to his name before Terence Steele’s injury in Week 14. Especially in short-yardage situations, Zeke can still be of help to Dallas.
Ultimately, the question will come down to how much is he willing to accept as a pay cut. And how much will the Cowboys want him to accept, especially as they figure out what to do about Pollard?
The offseason is only beginning for the Cowboys. But expect running back to be one of the most widely discussed position groups since it features two popular players that have been a talking point for over a year now.
Featured image via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports