Ezekiel Elliott says he helped revitalize the value of running backs
Due to Ezekiel Elliott's on-going stalemate with the Cowboys, many people are wondering if the running back position is as interchangeable as owner, Jerry Jones, is making it seem. But during an interview with Maxim, Zeke let it be known that he's an irreplaceable talent.
"Until the very recent deal with Todd Gurley [four years, $60 million], I think there was an undervalue of the running back," Elliott said. "But with guys like Gurley getting drafted so high, then me, and now guys like Saquon [Barkley] getting drafted in the first round, I think we’ve done a great job of bringing back the value of the position, showing the importance of the running back."
Although the interview took place in July, the published piece follows Jones washing over Elliott's name. When asked if Jones and the Cowboys were relying on rookie running back, Tony Pollard, to put the pressure on Elliott, Jones answered by saying, "Zeke who?"
This didn't sit well with Elliott or his agent Rocky Arceneaux who told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that they "thought it was disrespectful." Still, Jones has gone on record claiming that he's "optimistic" Elliott will return to the field despite not having a resolution to their contract negotiations.
This exchange is indicative of the love/hate relationship Elliott and the Cowboys share. Zeke touched on this complicated connection when explaining to Maxim that he'd love to be a Cowboy but he's willing to cut his losses and leave the franchise if necessary.
"I love playing for the Dallas Cowboys, I love the organization, my teammates. I do want to be a Cowboy for the rest of my life and hopefully that’s a possibility," Elliott said. "But even Emmitt Smith, the greatest running back ever, ended up going to play a couple of years for another organization. So it’s just the nature of the game, but I want to be a Dallas Cowboy for as long as I can."