The Dallas Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott have agreed on a $90 million, six-year contract extension that will make him the NFL’s highest-paid running back and end a holdout that lasted the entire preseason, a person with knowledge of the agreement said Wednesday.
The breakthrough was finalized the morning of the team’s first full workout before Sunday’s opener at home against the New York Giants. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been announced.
Elliott will get $50 million guaranteed. The $15 million-per-year average on the extension surpasses the $14.4 million Todd Gurley got from the Los Angeles Rams last summer. Gurley’s guarantee was $45 million.
The 41-day standoff between Dallas and the two-time NFL rushing champion came with the Cowboys holding high expectations coming off their first playoff win with Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott. They’ve won two NFC East titles in three seasons together.
Although Prescott and receiver Amari Cooper are seeking long-term contracts in the final year of their rookie deals, getting an agreement with Elliott settles the most important issue as the Cowboys try to get past the divisional round for the first time since winning the last of the franchise’s five Super Bowls during the 1995 season.
Elliott held out with two years left on his rookie contract, at $3.9 million this season and $9.1 million in 2020. The fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft wanted to be the highest-paid back after getting those two rushing titles in only three years.
Even when he was suspended for six games over domestic violence allegations in 2017, Elliott still had the best per-game rushing average.