Elliott is slated to earn $9.09 million in 2020, making him one of the league's highest-paid running backs. The decision to pick up Elliott's option was an easy one for the Cowboys, as the 23-year-old immediately established himself as one of the NFL's few three-down bellcows upon entering the league in 2016. Elliott and the Cowboys will now turn their attention to working out a long-term extension that will keep the Ohio State product in Dallas for the duration of his prime.
Since he was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft, Elliott is the only player in the league with more than 1,000 touches (1,003, to be exact), through which he's produced 5,247 yards from scrimmage and 34 touchdowns in 40 games. Those numbers make the Cowboys' upcoming decision a no-brainer, especially with DeMarcus Lawrence's long-term extension out of the way. Aside from Lawrence and Elliott, the team also may seek to lock Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper into long-term deals.
Elliott hopes to sign a contract extension this offseason but won't apply pressure in the form of a holdout. He's technically entering the final season of his rookie contract, but it's a given that Dallas exercises the fifth-year option to keep him locked in through 2020. With defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (shoulder) signed for five years, the Cowboys now need to work out long-term agreements for Elliott, Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper.
Elliott hopes to sign a contract extension before the 2019 season, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
The Cowboys will have an easy decision to pick up the fifth-year option (for 2020) on Elliott's rookie contract, potentially giving them another season before the situation truly comes to a head. Of course, the 23-year-old running back presumably hopes to sign his long-term deal as soon as possible, knowing the risk that comes with the massive workloads he handles. The Rams were in the same situation with Todd Gurley last year, eventually settling on a four-year, $60 million extension that kicks in after his fifth-year option season. Elliott can make a solid argument to top Gurley's contract after taking a big step forward as a receiving threat in 2018. The Cowboys also need to figure out extensions for Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, not to mention a new deal for top pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence.
Elliott rushed 20 times for 47 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 30-22 loss to the Rams. He added two catches (five targets) for 19 yards.
Elliott couldn't get anything going against the Rams' stout front, as he was routinely being met with first contact behind the line of scrimmage. The star back was able to salvage his fantasy day with a touchdown from in close, but DFS owners were certainly hoping for a bigger output considering Elliott's price tag. Despite the poor finish, the 23-year-old proved yet again that he is one of the premier running backs in the game with 1,434 rushing yards and six touchdowns to go along with 77 receptions, 567 receiving yards and three more scores through the air during the regular season.
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