The Dallas Cowboys selected defensive lineman Taco Charlton in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, but it’s fair to say they were quite disillusioned with him by the time they placed him on waivers this week.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did not mince words in explaining why the team opted to move on from Charlton after just over two seasons. Jones accused Charlton of wilting, and said he struggled to mentally recover after bad practices.
Jerry Jones says Taco “wilted” and had trouble recovering from bad practices @1053thefan
Ouch. Jones is known to be a straight shooter, but that’s a very harsh assessment of a former first-round selection.
The stats bear out that Charlton just didn’t contribute enough. After picking up three sacks in his rookie year, Charlton’s tally fell to one in 2018 despite seven starts. The production just wasn’t there, and the decision to move on is understandable. He’s since moved to Miami, where expectations are going to be a lot lower for both Charlton and the team.
Prescott got his season off to a great start by completing 25-of-32 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns on the way to a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. With Prescott, Elliott, and wide receiver Amari Cooper, the Cowboys have premier talent at the offensive skill positions. Jerry Jones is hoping to keep it that way for a while.
There are no hard feelings between Ezekiel Elliott and Jerry Jones.
Jones jokingly remarked “Zeke who?” after a standout preseason performance by rookie Tony Pollard in August, a remark that apparently upset some in Elliott’s camp. To Elliott himself, however, the remark is old news, and he added that he hadn’t taken anything said during negotiations personally.
Ezekiel Elliott said he didn't take anything personally that was said during the contract negotiation process.
When asked about Jerry Jones' "Zeke who?" comment: "That's so far behind us. We signed a deal, so there's really no point of talking about that other stuff."
Jerry Jones is taking a hard-nosed approach to the contract negotiations between Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys, and he seems to make comments every day that could irritate the star running back.
During an appearance on 105.3 The Fan on Friday morning, Jones took a swipe at Elliott for not honoring his contract. When asked about signing Zeke long-term, Jones said one of his concerns would be that Elliott could just hold out again next year since “we’re not gonna honor contracts.”
Jerry Jones on @1053thefan talking about Ezekiel Elliott’s contract holdout: “If we do a new contract, what’s to assure us that this time next year or three months later, we won’t be talking about another contract? If we’re not gonna honor contracts?”
That’s a clever way for Jones to try to put pressure on Elliott by making him look bad, but we all know that would not be the case. Elliott’s holdout has to do with the structure of his rookie contract, which most people would argue is unfair. He’s under contract with the Cowboys for two more years since he was a first-round pick, which gave the team the option of tacking a fifth year onto his deal. He’s arguably the best running back in football, but he is scheduled to make just $3.8 million this season and $9.1 million in 2020. The shelf life of a running back is extremely short, so Elliott is just trying to get a big guaranteed payday while he can.
Ezekiel Elliott is running out of time to report to the Dallas Cowboys before the regular season starts, and Jerry Jones seems to believe it’s getting to be too late.
Jones said after the Cowboys’ preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that he accepts Elliott will not be playing for the team in Week 1 and potentially beyond that.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: "Zeke knows full well how valuable he is to our team. But he also knows, because there’s been a lot of games when he didn’t play, that he wants us to win if he’s not playing. And we’ve got to be ready to win if he’s not playing."
The Cowboys have gone through training camp and the preseason without Elliott, so they have prepared to play without him. Tony Pollard looks like a legit weapon and will likely see major action as long as Elliott is out.
Elliott is due to make just $3.8 million this year and $9.1 million next year. He’s likely seeking to be paid closer to the level of compensation Todd Gurley received from the Rams.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones continues to project confidence that the team will have Ezekiel Elliott in the fold in 2019.
Speaking to the audience at the team’s kickoff luncheon Wednesday, Jones pledged that the Cowboys “will have [Elliott] on the field,” though he didn’t offer many specifics.
Jerry Jones mentions Ezekiel Elliott while addressing the crowd during the team’s annual kickoff luncheon: “We’re missing one, but we’ll have him on the field. I’m not joking.” pic.twitter.com/mvCq0iYZD4
Jones had said earlier Wednesday that the Cowboys’ priority was having Elliott for the playoffs. He’s consistently projected optimism that something will get done, but the lack of contact recently between the two sides indicates that it’s increasingly unlikely that anything gets done before the start of the regular season. Where things go from that point is anyone’s guess.
Jerry Jones is doing his best to maintain leverage in the ongoing contract negotiations with Ezekiel Elliott, and that includes talking like he would be be perfectly fine with the star running back missing the majority of the season.
In his weekly appearance on 105.3 The Fan Wednesday, Jones reiterated that the Cowboys are prepared to play games without Elliott. He also made sure to note that Elliott is currently under contract, but he said the goal is to have him back for the playoffs.
Jerry Jones on @1053thefan: Nothing new on Ezekiel Elliott’s contract talks. Jones said there is no deadline. “We have to be prepared to play without any given player. …We may very well play without a player that’s not coming in on his contract. We’ll play and we’ll play well.”
The Cowboys obviously want Elliott on the field for Week 1, and it would be shocking if he missed the entire regular season. That said, he has that option. Because Elliott’s rookie contract contains a fifth year, he does not need to report at all this year in order to become eligible for unrestricted free agency next offseason. Reporting by the deadline next year would give him a fourth season accrued toward free agency, which is all a player needs.
There have been reports that Elliott and the Cowboys are not that far apart in contract talks, and most people believe Jones will eventually cave and pay his superstar. Although Jones may have offended Elliott with a remark he made about the situation recently, Zeke just wants financial security. If the Cowboys are willing to make him the highest-paid running back in football, there will almost certainly be no hard feelings.