Dallas Cowboys running back, Ezekiel Elliott, is desiring to get a contract extension this upcoming off-season, but that could prove to be difficult for the Cowboys.
The 23-year-old is under contract through next season and has an option for the following season. But, the running back is reportedly seeking a deal that would secure him a contract that would keep him in Dallas for the foreseeable future.
Elliott is eligible to receive an extension because of his workload over his first three seasons in the NFL. Which now it looks like he's trying to cash-in for being utilized as the focal point in the Cowboys offense.
The Cowboys also have some other key players that will need to pay this off-season, which might not leave them enough money for Elliott to paid this off-season as well. Their biggest impending free agent is defensive end, DeMarcus Lawrence.
Lawrence, who will turn 27-years-old next season, will be looking for a multi-year deal that would also pay him in the double figures. According to Sportrac, the market value for him would be a six-year deal worth over $20 million per season.
That deal alone could mean that Elliott will have to wait till next off-season to get his multi-year extension. Sportrac also notes that the Cowboys will have just over $50 million in salary-cap space heading into this off-season.
So if Lawrence is being paid $20 million, then the Cowboys will only have approximately $30 million remaining to spend on their other free agents. The Cowboys have reportedly also stated their interest in extending quarterback, Dak Prescott.
Like Elliott, Prescott is eligible to receive an extension this upcoming off-season due to his workload over his first three seasons in the league. Sportrac also has the market value for Prescott at $24 million per season. This would leave the Cowboys with very limited salary-cap space for the next few seasons.
With all of this above, it likely means the Cowboys will need to choose between Elliott or Prescott for the extension during this upcoming off-season. The Cowboys will likely make the decision on who to pay first over who is likely to be paid less per season, which would give them more money to spend on their other free agents this off-season.
What This Means
Elliott stating that he wants an extension this off-season just creates more problems for the Cowboys. There just isn't enough money to go around to pay everyone what they may be worth on the open market.
Someone will have to take a pay-cut if they want to stay with this Cowboys team. With just over $50 million in cap space going into this off-season, the Cowboys will definitely have to make some tough decisions on who they will extend and bring back for next season.