Still not sure the Cowboys should’ve drafted a running back 4th overall. But I am convinced that Ezekiel Elliott will be a good player, at a great bargain.
On Wednesday Elliott signed a four-year, $25 million contract including a $16 million signing bonus. If he’s the three-down, blocking monster of a back the Cowboys expect, that will be a bargain.
Elliott’s deal will average $6.2 million. By contrast best veteran backs on the free-agent market will earn more – Doug Martin of the Buccaneers ($7.1 million), Lamar Miller to the Texans ($6.5) and Chris Ivory to the Jaguars ($6.4). All of those players are at least 25 years old with at least 600 carries in the NFL.
Bottom line: The Cowboys paid less money for a newer car.
Elliott won’t turn 21 until the week before the Cowboys leave for training camp in Oxnard, California.
Reasoned vice president Stephen Jones of the decision to draft over sign, “We have an opinion that at the end of day, especially with running backs after they have had some wear and tear on them, may not be the right investment as they go forward. It is real easy to sit back and say, ‘Well, the value of the running back is coming this way financially in terms of cap dollars.’ We actually have done some work and believe that some of their best years, the great ones, are in their first five years. So you are maybe getting the best part of the running back in his first five years vs. the second contract.”
While I’m still philosophically opposed to the Cowboys’ drafting of a running back with their top pick, there’s no doubting they did their shopping wisely.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.