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Cowboys exercise Ezekiel Elliott’s fifth-year option

Divisional Round - Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Rams

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after scoring a 1 yard touchdown in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Whether the Cowboys sign running back Ezekiel Elliott to a long-term deal or not is going to be an open question for at least a little while, but there wasn’t any doubt about their desire to have him on hand in 2020.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said recently that the team will “obviously” exercise their fifth-year option on Elliott’s contract. Field Yates of ESPN reports that they officially did so on Wednesday.

The deal is guaranteed for injury only, so the Cowboys could back out of it next year but it would likely take some negative off-field developments for the team to make that call.

Elliott led the league in rushing as a rookie and again last year with the Cowboys winning the NFC East in each of those seasons. He’s racked up a lot of mileage over his first three seasons, which has led some to believe the Cowboys could choose to move on rather than make a long-term commitment but picking up the option means a definitive call on that front isn’t likely to come in the immediate future.