With a lot of smiles and laughter, and a little ribbing with a new T-shirt, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and running back Ezekiel Elliott held a news conference Thursday afternoon talking about the NFL rushing leader's contract extension that will keep him on America's Team for the next eight years.
"The facts are that this is a milestone contract, but more importantly, it's with a milestone person and player for the organization of the Dallas Cowboys," Jones said. "This is an important contract for us. It goes without saying that he's a cornerstone player for the Cowboys."
Elliott's holdout, which kept him from participating in any preseason team activities, was often compared to Emmitt Smith's in 1993 when he was in negotiations for a new deal. That situation was a little different, however, as Smith was without a contract at the time and Elliott had two years left on his initial deal.
While the Cowboys don't discuss contract details, the contract is believed to be worth about $90 million over six years. Jones said it was one with "a lot of dynamics about it." As for what that means, Jones did not elaborate.
He then turned the microphone over to Elliott who first thanked the Joneses for the opportunity to play for the Cowboys and then for the extension that will, probably, keep him in North Texas for the remainder of his NFL career.
"I'm just really excited about this team, really excited about what we're going to do," Elliott said.
Elliott added that during his time in Dallas he's formed a good relationship with the Salvation Army and that he planned to donate $100,000 to help them build a new facility where they can better help North Texans in need.
Afterward, Jones, who lightheartedly said "Zeke who?" when asked about the player during his holdout, pulled out a new T-shirt with that same statement on the front and, on the back, had a drawing of the running back hurdling a defender with the word's "That's Who." A quick check of the Cowboys' online Pro Shop revealed that not only is the shirt currently for sale for $29.99, Jones, ever the marketing genius, has apparently trademarked the phrase "Zeke Who."
When asked about the shirt, Elliott said it was funny and that he was thinking about making the same thing. It's probably safe to assume
Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys kick off the 2019 season Sunday against the New York Giants. The game is at 3 p.m. at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
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