The Dallas Cowboys are set to begin training camp this weekend in preparation for the upcoming 2019-20 NFL season in their second home of Oxnard, California. Every player on the roster was present and accounted for when the team departed Frisco, Texas except for Ezekiel Elliott.
The 2016 FedEx Ground Player of the Year didn’t fly out with the team to California when they departed from Frisco Thursday afternoon. However, since camp doesn’t officially start until 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Elliott still has time to report to Oxnard and go through the necessary protocols before his holdout in training camp holdout is official.
Training camp holdouts is nothing out of the ordinary for NFL teams. Unlike NBA and MLB players, NFL players have reduced power when it comes to projecting where they want to play or how much they want to get paid.
Some players have succeeded in getting exactly the salary they desire, but superstar players in the NFL have to go through more turmoil to get their big money than NBA and MLB players.
As a result of that revelation, the only logical solution NFL players have is to resort to holding out during training camp with the intention of putting pressure on the front office to pay them their desired salary.
It’s numerous rumors circulating around Elliott’s potential holdout, but the ultimate reason why he’s holding out is because he firmly believes he deserves a contract extension despite still being under his rookie contract for two more years.
The 24-year old all-purpose back has compiled historic numbers during his first three seasons as the Dallas Cowboys tailback.
Since his arrival to the NFL stage in 2016 Elliott is first in the NFL in total touches, total yards from scrimmage per game, total rushing yards per game, first down rushes and 10-plus yard rushes.
Additionally, Elliott is tied for second in rushing touchdowns and led in the NFL in rushing during the 2016-17 and 2018-19 seasons.
His numbers and his production on the field proves he’s owed a big contract. It’s been rumored by Charles Robinson, Yahoo Sports reporter, that Elliott wants to become the highest paid running back in NFL history.
Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams running back, is currently the highest paid back in the NFL with a four-year deal worth $57,500,000 million which includes an annual salary of $14,375,000 million and over $21 million in guaranteed money.
It’s no secret Elliott is a household name at the running back position and one of the most electrifying players in the NFL, but the timing of his demands is a huge misconception.
While Elliott’s on-the-field production is up to par, his off-the-field antics has hurt his perception of the way people view him. It’s hard for the Cowboys front office to quickly cave into the demands of Elliott because his recent behavior has made them reconsider whether he’s worth the money.
Elliott is a few weeks removed from being cleared of punishment for his incident in Las Vegas. His behavior off-the-field is just as important as his behavior on-the-field and before the Cowboys dip into their lucrative funds, they want to make sure they can fully trust Elliott to represent the organization in the best way possible, and as of right now they can’t fully guarantee Elliott is 100 percent all-in based on his recent behavioral issues. As a result, his demands are being ignored and his only option is to holdout.
Furthermore, the Cowboys have yet to pay their other star players such as Jaylon Smith, Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, whose contracts have been lingering throughout the organization all offseason.
All three of these players amongst others are guys Dallas would like to secure for the future and it would be more of an uphill climb for the Cowboys to pay their main players if they spend the majority of their salary cap on Elliott.
Overall, Elliott has to come to the conclusion that despite his undeniable talent he displays on the field, his actions away from the field has a grave impact on his future.
If Elliott goes through his holdout for any period of time, he’ll be fined $30,000 a day for any missed training camp practices and he’s in the crossfire of being fined $226,000 if he misses any preseason games.
Arrogant mindsets have destroyed great NFL players in the past, and Elliott’s mindset has to change before he can settle on making the Cowboys better for the upcoming season.
The Cowboys will conduct an opening ceremony Saturday at 2:30 p.m. PDT time before officially starting their first practice of training camp at 3:30 p.m. in Oxnard.
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