After giving star running back Ezekiel Elliott a record-breaking contract, it didn't take long before Jerry Jones expressed his thoughts. Getting the Elliott deal finished was just the start of a busy morning for Jones, who rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.
That news was secondary compared to the six-year, $90 million deal Jones gave Elliott, with the $50 million guaranteed that makes him the highest-paid running back in NFL history. The total amount of the deal is eight years and $103 million, keeping Elliott with the Cowboys until he's 31.
While running backs tend to have a shorter career in the NFL compared to the other skill position players, Jones is convinced Elliott will buck that trend. The Cowboys' owner has been using plenty of Emmitt Smith comparisons leading up to the Elliott contract, doubling down on them making a guest appearance on CNBC.
"Well, I just turned my pockets out upstairs. It means I'm a $100 million lighter as of this morning," Jones said with a smile. "But seriously, Zeke arguably has been our best player. I'm not trying to be unfair to anybody else, but he's an incremental part to our success ... He plays a position that has some pretty interesting dynamics to it because running backs are short lived, although we had what I considered to be one of the top-five greatest ones in Emmitt Smith and Emmitt ran the ball for 13 years, so you don't have to have a four-or-five year career to be a running back."
.@dallascowboys owner Jerry Jones explains the $90 million contract extension with @EzekielElliott: “I’m $100 million lighter as of this morning. Zeke has been arguably our best player… he’s an incremental part to our success.” pic.twitter.com/Tj8yFTnwTM— CNBC (@CNBC) September 4, 2019
Clearly Jones believes Elliott can have the longevity at running back like Smith, who played 15 years in the NFL and had his final 1,000-yard season at 31 years old (when the Elliott deal would end if the Cowboys do honor all eight years). Smith only missed five games with the Cowboys since signing his new contract in 1993 (after missing the first two games of the season). He led the NFL in rushing, rush attempts and touchdowns twice, earning three first team All Pro nod and five Pro Bowl selections.
Ezekiel Elliott finally signed his deal! And he got ... $90 million??? Did the Cowboys make a mistake? Are these numbers real?? What should we expect from him in Week 1?? To answer all those questions plus much more, Will Brinson, John Breech, Ryan Wilson and Jared Dubin fired up an emergency Pick Six Podcast to break it all down. Listen in the player below and subscribe to our daily podcast!
More importantly, the Cowboys won two more Super Bowls. This is what Jones envisions out of the Elliott contract, comparing his current back to the league's all-time leading rusher.
"They both have a lion heart," Jones said. "Believe it or not, Bill Parcells used to give lectures on how lion hearted a running back has to be. Who could forget against the New York Giants Emmitt Smith running with a knocked down shoulder to win that game. We had to win it to go to the playoffs that ultimately led us to a Super Bowl. Zeke has a big heart, (but) now he has a thick pocket book too."