Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is open to taking a pay cut in order to stay with the team next season, The Dallas Morning News reported Monday.
Elliot, who is set to make 10.9 million in 2023, will reportedly look to negotiate his recently extended contract after a season that saw statistical lows and Tony Pollard emerge as the team’s running back of the future.
The three-time Pro Bowler signed a six-year extension worth $90 million in 2019 and is entering the first year of the deal where he doesn’t have any guarantees tied to his salary. Although not likely, Dallas could release Elliott and avoid paying him his $10.9 million salary for next season. However, per The Dallas Morning News, both sides have a mutual interest in getting a deal done.
The 27-year-old was asked about his future with the Cowboys on Sunday after his team’s playoff loss to the 49ers.
“I’ve definitely thought about it,” Elliott said, via The Dallas Morning News. “I want to be here. I don’t have a crystal ball; I can’t tell you the future. But I definitely want to be here.”
Elliott was one of the best tailbacks in the NFL at the time of his monster extension. But now, he finds himself no longer in the upper echelon of his position. He posted a career-low rushing yards per attempt (3.8) this season and tallied 876 yards on the ground with 12 touchdowns this past season.
His decline can be attributed to both right tackle Terence Steele tearing his ACL on Dec. 11 and Pollard’s emergence in the Cowboys’ backfield. Pollard’s rookie contract is set to expire on March 15 and if the team plans to franchise tag him, it must do so by March 7. Dallas has a couple of loose ends it needs to tie up in order to secure this backfield for the future.