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Ezekiel Elliott Contract & Salary Breakdown

Last Updated: March 15, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Cowboys will reportedly release Elliott post-June 1, 2023.

Ezekiel Elliott is tied with his Saints counterpart, Alvin Kamara, as the second-highest-paid RB in the NFL in terms of AAV. Boardroom dives into the details of his contract.

Ezekiel Elliott was once known as the Dallas Cowboys‘ primary source for generating offense and touchdowns. However, these days, Dallas rides on the quarterback — whether that be typical starter Dak Prescott or streaking backup Cooper Rush — to help the team win games.

Part of that is due to the natural decline of NFL running backs as they creep toward their 30s. But in Zeke’s case, it’s more so about a lingering injury history that has hindered his ability to showcase and reach his full potential.

The Ohio State product accomplished a rare feat as a rookie, joining an elite group of 25 men to make the Pro Bowl roster in their first year. It only took Elliott nine NFL games to cross the 1,000-yard-rushing threshold, making him the first Cowboy to achieve the mark since Tony Dorsett in 1977.

Again, injuries have played a major part in stopping Zeke from eating this far into his career. He’s already had seven significant injuries throughout his career, including playing through a partially torn PCL. This decreased his on-field production and damaged the idea of him living up to top-paid running back standards.

Let’s look at the Ezekiel Elliott contract and explore the possibilities of his future with “Dem Boys.”

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Ezekiel Elliott Contract Details & Salary

Salary data via Spotrac

  • Years: 6
  • Total value: $90,000,000
  • Average annual value: $15,000,000
  • Signing bonus: $7,500,000
  • Guaranteed at signing: $28,052,137
  • Total guaranteed: $50,052,137
  • Free Agency: 2027

Ezekiel Elliott’s contract remains near the top of the list for running backs in the NFL. Regardless, Zeke’s production from the backfield has declined for the Dallas Cowboys as his annual salary hovers around $15 million. His 2022 take-home salary sits at $12.4 million. After this season, Elliott’s contract will fulfill its guaranteed money obligations, which could raise concerns about his future with the boys in blue.

Zeke has stated in previous interviews that he “can’t look too far down the road” and will not shift his focus on the possibility that this season could end his campaign with the organizations. Although the team could restructure his deal or release him after the 2023 season, they’d have to take an $11.8 million dead cap hit. While he may view the situation in a lighthearted matter, Cowboys Nation certainly does not.

Instead, sectors of the Cowboys’ vocal fanbase want to see the electric secondary running back Tony Pollard get more carries. Clash both running backs’ dynamics together, and the Dallas Cowboys are left with more questions than answers about their immediate running back future. Both backs possess different attributes, with Pollard being a big-play speed guy versus Elliot’s trademark smashmouth brute strength that can tire out a defense.

No matter which QB is at the helm, the Cowboys should have a mix of complementary running to supplement the passing game. And if Ezekiel Elliott can play to the levels of his contract again, there’s no telling how far deep into the playoffs the Cowboys can go.

Elliott’s Career Earnings


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