There is nobody on this planet who can replace Ezekiel Elliott. The Dallas Cowboys might joke about the running back’s absence, but at what costs?
Meanwhile, owner and general manager Jerry Jones is playing with fire, shooting off quotes that are hurting Elliott’s feelings as well as those in his camp.
Is this all a ploy to lure No. 21 back? Sure. We know the game. It’s nothing new, nothing we haven’t eyed before. The Cowboys aren’t the only team in the history of sports to play this sort of tease and play strategy.
But look, let’s get one thing straight here: Ezekiel Elliott is a rare talent, playing in a position that is considered rare itself. Elliott is different. Sure, Tony Pollard racked up 42 yards on five carries, averaging 8.4 yards a tote last week. The fourth-round pick found the end zone as well. Still, this is preseason football.
Nobody is saying No. 21 can be replaced, right? Jones, who retracted and pressed rewind on his “Zeke who” statement, was just deploying tactical missiles around the Elliott camp. You have to wonder though, how far is this war of contracts going to go?
At this point, are the Cowboys and Jerry Jones viewing life without the star running back? Is the word “trade” a possible option among the top Dallas brass? As the clock on preseason winds down, will Zeke actually miss games?
There’s no question who Zeke is and what he means to the Cowboys. The entire engine is built around No. 21; it’s difficult to see what the Cowboys’ fabric would look like without Elliott in the lineup.
At some point, hopefully soon, the Dallas Cowboys must go three for three on their biggest contract disputes. The season opener is upon us, and there’s no sign of America’s Team landing the trifecta soon.
I’ve voiced my disdain with Ezekiel Elliott’s timing and decision to hold out, but I’ve also clearly stated how valuable Zeke is to the Cowboys. Nothing would make me happier than to have this dispute in the past. I’m sure Cowboys fans feel the same.