Ezekiel Elliott’s agents will take a look at the NFL Combine before

One of the Cowboys’ priorities over the next few weeks, without a doubt, is determining the future of their top two running backs. Ezekiel Elliott no longer has any more money guaranteed in his contract, while Tony Pollard is aiming to become a free agent in March. In Pollard’s case, it’s very likely that he will receive the franchise tag. The biggest dilemma, however, has to do with what the team decides around Elliott.

Because of his high salary-cap impact, the fact that Zeke doesn’t have more guaranteed money presents Dallas with two options: cut him to gain cap space, or keep him with the team by restructuring his contract and lowering his salary.

However, Elliott’s agents want to be fully informed of the outlook for the NFL running back position in 2023 before negotiating with Dallas. To do this, the representatives could be present at the next NFL Combine. This was reported by Adam Schefter, ESPN reporter, during the program NFL Live last Thursday.

“At the Combine, Ezekiel Elliott’s agents will determine his value to other teams in what he aims to be a broad class of running backs (in the Draft)”Schefter said. “It’s a time when a lot of teams aren’t willing to pay a lot of money for a running back. And if (agents) determine there’s not a lot of money out there with other teams, it would be best to keep Zeke in Dallas on a restructured contract.”

After comparing Tony Pollard’s numbers to Ezekiel Elliott’s in 2022, it’s clear that Zeke’s performance doesn’t justify his current salary. In 2023, the former first-round pick is aiming for a salary of $10.9 million and his impact against the salary cap would be $16.9 million. This is not a logical expense, considering Elliott’s numbers last season: 231 carries for 876 yards and 12 touchdowns.

It’s true that Pollard and Elliott made a good pairing at running back last season. In particular, Zeke carried more weight in short-yardage situations. However, Dallas needs to have explosiveness in its two main running backs, not just one. And that’s an element that Elliott no longer has, as noted in the divisional round against the 49ers after Pollard’s injury.

In fact, it is precisely Elliott’s performance that raises questions about his future. The running back knows that not many teams will be willing to pay him a salary like the one he earns in Dallas. For this reason, Zeke apparently declared that he was willing to lower his salary to continue on the cowboy team. And although Elliott’s father denied those reports, that is a more than possible scenario.

Precisely, Adam Schefter mentioned in his report the possible negotiation scenario between the Cowboys and Elliott’s representatives.

“I think there is an incentive on both sides to reach an agreement”Schefter said in NFL Live. “There is a process that they have to go through first. Not that Zeke will automatically say he’s back in Dallas. If there’s a team willing to pay him big money, then he’ll reject the restructured contract and he’ll be released. But what chance is there of a team paying Zeke off with what he’s done recently?

Along the same lines, a report that surfaced over the weekend indicates that the Cowboys could ask Elliott to take a significant salary cut to stay on the team. This was reported by Matt Lombardo from the Heavy.com portal last Saturday, based on sources close to the broker market. On paper, this would be something of an ultimatum from Dallas to the running back. And it is said that Zeke may not accept said reduction.

As Adam Schefter mentioned, negotiations between the Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott’s agents will take due process. At the most, this process could stretch until the start of the new league year in mid-March. However, it remains to be seen what Zeke decides, taking into account that he can hardly get the title and a high salary if he leaves Dallas.

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