Dallas’ Payroll Pecking Order

The Dallas Cowboys are now facing the financial dilemma plaguing other franchises right now. “Which players should we pay the max deals to and the others we let go?” The 3 players Dallas
is facing imminent pay demands from are Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and Ezekiel Elliott. There should always be a pecking order of who you pay and how much you pay them as well as reasons why you should pay them. In a company, you always want to pay big salaries to the employees who are working the hardest and help to keep your organization profitable. The
Cowboys must look at their roster right now and do likewise. Dak Prescott has shown leadership on and off the field the way he conducts himself. Much like his predecessors Tony Romo and
Troy Aikman, he knows what it means to be the QB of the Dallas Cowboys and the constant media attention it attracts. Dak has maintained a very humble attitude reminiscent of his comparative position player Russell Wilson with the Seattle Seahawks. WR Amari Cooper, acquired via trade with the Oakland Raiders mid-season last year, provided the receiving spark Prescott needed to move the Cowboys closer to the next level. He’s the best WR Dallas has had since a young and healthy Dez Bryant. Now we turn to Ezekiel Elliot. Yes, let your loud exhales begin. I have seen so many big games from this young kid after he was taken #4 overall by the Cowboys in 2016. After missing more than half the 2017 season due to suspension, he was more effective
this past season due to availability. However, after an altercation with a security guard at a party in Las Vegas this summer, clearly Zeke hasn’t learned his lesson after what happened 2 years ago. Remember the old saying, “If you don’t learn from history, you’re doomed to repeat it.” That’s what we see Ezekiel Elliott doing yet again as an NFL investigation is looming into what
occurred back in June in Vegas. There must be a maturity level to occur if you’re going to last in the NFL. You are not just viewed by your production on the field. Look at what has happened
recently to Kansas City Chiefs’ WR Tyreek Hill. Commissioner Roger Goodell is slowly beginning a zero-tolerance policy to off-the-field improper conduct. There’s only 2 years left on his rookie deal. If I’m Dallas, I’m finding teams that are desperate enough and can give you some good return. In this pass heavy league, running backs are a dime a dozen, and Jerry Jones can find a replacement for him. If Jerry Jones had the guts to let Terrell Owens and Dez Bryant walk, he should be perfectly able to do the same for Ezekiel Elliott with the constant off-the-field mess he continues to create. I have 5 teams that if I’m Dallas, I pick up the phone and make
some offers.
1. Denver. This one is a long shot, but with the run-heavy offense they have in the Mile-High City, I would offer Ezekiel Elliot for the young Phillip Lindsay and a draft pick. It’s an easy flip and one that GM John Elway just might make.
2. Minnesota. The Vikings need a running back they can depend on and if I’m Minnesota, I know that Ezekiel Elliot is less injury-prone than Dalvin Cook. However, I think Cook would perform better behind a superior offensive line that Dallas possesses. This is a no-
brainer, and a win-win for both sides.
3. Houston. We know the Texans’ offensive line has issues protecting the QB with Deshaun Watson getting sacked 60 times last season. However, they have a pretty productive veteran back in Lamar Miller they acquired from the Miami Dolphins in 2016. Last season, Miller had 973 yards rushing with 5 touchdowns. At 28 years old, Miller is
pretty much at his peak considering the low shelf life of NFL running backs. Despite the rivalry that exists between the two Texas teams, both would win out in this trade.

4. Miami. The Dolphins are in a long-term rebuild plan as they acquire former 1st round pick QB Josh Rosen from Arizona after the Cardinals drafted Kyler Murray out of Oklahoma. One of the Dolphins’ biggest playmakers last year despite a subpar offensive
line was Kenyan Drake. He became their feature back in 2016 after Lamar Miller went to Houston. Dallas has a big carrot to dangle to a direction-less Miami front office. Drake is
also 3 years younger than Lamar Miller. At 6’1, the former Crimson Tide back has played in all 16 games in 3 years so there’s no durability questions hanging over him unlike Miller. If I’m Jerry Jones, much like the Minnesota proposition, you’re getting a
back who’s a few years older and more mature than Elliott. This would also allow Dak to be the main leader in the locker room without Zeke clowning around constantly.
5. NY Giants. This one might be the craziest proposition of all. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Draft Day” with Kevin Costner playing Sonny Weaver, the GM of the Cleveland Browns. Weaver makes a second call to the Seattle Seahawks after he turns down a reasonable offer and one of the assistants in the office when he saw the caller I.D. tells Seattle’s GM, “fleece him.” The Giants have already made one head scratching decision after another between
shipping out Odell Beckham Jr. and then drafting Duke QB Daniel Jones #5 overall. Why not fleece this head case of a front office by proposing to flip RB Saquon Barkley for Ezekiel Elliott? They’re essentially the same caliber player and Barkley has already shown the qualities reminiscent of Emmitt Smith off the field as well as on-the-field production. Why not make this
move and even throw in a draft pack to sweeten the deal? This is very unlikely to occur but might not be as impossible as you think.

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