Since entering the NFL in 2016, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has established himself as one of the elite rushers in the NFL.
Now, he wants to be paid like it.
Elliott, who has two years remaining on his rookie deal, has privately said he plans on holding out from training camp until he receives a new deal, per ProFootballTalk.
Slated to make just $3.5 million in 2019, Elliott is one of the most underpaid players in all of football. He's set to make $9.09 million in 2020, the final year of his rookie deal.
Dallas has put off extension talks with Elliott simply because he's still under contract for two more seasons, per the report.
Quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper are both free agents after the season, and the Cowboys would like to keep both at all costs, ProFootballTalk said. Additionally, Dallas just signed defensive end Demarcus Lawrence to a five-year, $105 million contract extension this offseason.
Should he not receive a contract extension, Elliott could face a situation similar to what Demarco Murray had with the Cowboys in 2014. Murray set a franchise record for most rushing yards in a season, yet Dallas still chose to let him walk in free agency.
Elliott's not the only star running back threatening to holdout this offseason. Los Angeles Chargers' Melvin Gordon has publicly stated he will skip training camp until he gets a new deal and is not afraid to miss regular-season games, similar to what Le'Veon Bell did last year with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Since entering the NFL in 2016, Elliott has led the NFL in rushing twice. His 4,048 total rushing yards over the past three seasons are the most in the NFL, and he has over 600 more rushing yards than Los Angeles Rams' Todd Gurley, the next most rushing yards over that span.
Whether he actually holds out or whether the Cowboys turn their attention to extending their star running back will be seen in the coming weeks.
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