Roger Steinman/Associated Press
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott reportedly wants a contract extension during the upcoming offseason.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Elliott’s desire for an extension directly relates to the heavy workload he has carried during his first three seasons in the NFL:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
From @gmfb Weekend: #Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott would like his contract extension to come this season, which makes sense given his workload. Add him to the long list. https://t.co/bUDTx0LmoG
Elliott and the Cowboys will host the Seattle Seahawks in a wild-card playoff game Saturday night.
Since entering the league in 2016, Elliott has been the truest definition of a workhorse.
He led the NFL in both carries and rushing yards as a rookie with 322 totes for 1,631 yards, and he repeated that feat this season with 304 carries for 1,434 yards.
Elliott also became a huge part of the passing game in 2018 with a team-high 77 grabs for 567 yards, which inflated his value even more.
Although Elliott missed six games because of suspension in 2017, he still finished with 242 carries and almost certainly would have been over 300 if not for the suspension.
He still has one year remaining on his contract, plus a possible fifth-year option in 2020. However, the shelf life for running backs is short—Frank Gore notwithstanding—and with the number of times Elliott touches the ball, his injury risk is heightened.
Rapoport noted the Cowboys have to make contract decisions on several other players in the near future, including quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper, defensive end Demarcus Lawrence and defensive back Byron Jones.
Of course, Dallas will want to avoid what the Steelers experienced with Le’Veon Bell this season if at all possible.