Following a disappointing 2020 season, the Dallas Cowboys had several pressing questions to address. The Cowboys quickly resolved the lingering matter concerning Dak Prescott’s contract situation. The franchise has now provided star running back Ezekiel Elliott with clarity regarding his future in Dallas.
Cowboys continue their busy offseason
The Dallas Cowboys entered this offseason with several lingering questions hanging over the franchise.
Dallas finally addressed their most pressing matter by working out a long-term deal with star quarterback Dak Prescott. The Cowboys agreed to a four-year, $160 million contract, including $126 million guaranteed and an NFL-record $66 million signing bonus.
Prescott’s deal will see him only account for $22.2 million on the team payroll for 2021, which lessens the immediate financial blow. There had been doubt festering that Jerry Jones would commit to a massive contract to retain Prescott, especially after he was coming off a devastating broken ankle injury last season.
Jones and the Cowboys elected to move forward with the 27-year-old as their long-term solution under center. Shortly after that, Dallas freed up $17 million in cap space this year by restructuring Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, and La’el Collins’s contracts.
Over the weekend, the Cowboys also decided on the long-term future of another critical piece to the puzzle.
The Dallas Cowboys finally decide on Ezekiel Elliott’s future
As the Dallas Cowboys continue to move forward this offseason, the team has made some critical roster decisions along the way.
Among those moves included star running back Ezekiel Elliott’s future with the franchise. Calvin Watkins of The Dallas Morning News reported that Elliott’s $12.4 million for the 2022 season became fully guaranteed.
Questions around Elliott’s future have arisen over the last year due to his struggles with his production. The 25-year-old posted career lows with 979 rushing yards, 4.0 yards per attempt, 65.3 rushing yards per contest, and tied a career-worst with six fumbles.
The 2020 season was disastrous for many reasons as injuries throughout the offense plagued the Cowboys. All that put the central focus on Elliott to guide the team forward offensively, which he struggled mightily. He posted only two 100-yard rushing performances and below six games below 50 rushing yards.
However, Dak Prescott’s return and a healthy offensive line should allow Elliott to get back on track as one of the most productive running backs. His future in Dallas is locked in at least through 2022, which shows that the Cowboys have faith that he can turn the page after a forgettable campaign.
Dallas holds utmost confidence in the offense
Through the first few weeks of the offseason, the Dallas Cowboys have cleared up the future for several of their prominent players.
The Cowboys are moving forward with their offense as currently constructed in hopes they can finally breakthrough. Prescott has continued to take steps forward in his progression, which the team believes the talent around him can lift them into Super Bowl contention.
There remain lingering questions concerning their defense, which the team can further address through free agency and the draft. Dallas recently signed Carlos Watkins and former Pro Bowl safety Keanu Neal.
The 2021 season is a chance for the Cowboys to take a massive step forward behind their core group. Prescott received the financial security he wanted from Dallas, and it’s now on his shoulders to guide the franchise forward to success. Meanwhile, Ezekiel Elliott has an opportunity to re-establish himself as one of the game’s best running backs.
In other words, it’s a clean slate for Dallas to make their push toward much more than a playoff berth.
Contract details courtesy of Spotrac.