Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and running-back Ezekiel Elliot are reaching a stalemate in contract talks, which have been directly affected by the All-Pro’s holdout. The preseason is wrapping up and Elliot still hasn’t reported to training camp. It’s now become imminent that he is expected to miss games during the regular season.
Yesterday, according to ESPN, Jones said, “My entire expectation for what we’re putting together as a team right now would anticipate with him holding out and not having any training camp that he’s going to miss games. I just accept that.”
The statement made by the Cowboys’ owner leaves me befuddled and scratching my head. Bottom line, how can you accept the fact that your “best” player is dead-set on standing his ground in the dispute, which makes it very possible that you both are putting the team’s Super Bowl aspirations in Jeopardy?
Elliot is attempting to garner a deal similar to the contract of Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley. Jones is devaluing the the Rams back and his contract, recently suggesting that the team isn’t going to keep pace with the “bad deals” offered on the free agent market.
The philosophy makes sense in terms of simple logic. However, there is one problem with his position.
In order to be competitive on the field, it’s an absolute certainty that your team must be competitive in the marketplace. Yes, the Gurley deal may have been miscalculated …but, what makes you as an owner believe you can reset the market? What is the actual “cost” of not getting the deal done, and how does that impact the future of your franchise?
Elliot is under contract for two more seasons, yet he seems likely to be headed into Le’Veon Bell territory which means there is a risk of missing the entire season.
The standoff is reckless on both ends, because J.J. is compromising his team’s chances of winning and Zeke is facing the possibility that he may miss at least one “prime” season during his career.
Legacy is a term that resonates with all parties involved. Will Jones pony up and pay Elliot, thus delivering a winning product on the field for a city starving for it’s first Super Bowl victory since the 90’s? Or will he let his ego get the best of him in this dispute and risk losing the season and the on-field advantages of his star running-back altogether?
Header Photo Credit: International Business Times