Cole: Jones Will Pay Zeke; Cooper Likely Gone

Jason Cole explains why Jerry Jones is "afraid" of paying Ezekiel Elliott – and why this could be Amari Cooper's last season in Dallas

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
August 29, 2019 - 9:19 am
Ezekiel Elliott Amari Cooper Cowboys

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The Dallas Cowboys’ season-opener is rapidly approaching, and Ezekiel Elliott continues to hold out. Ultimately, what will it take for this situation to be resolved?

“The Cowboys will probably have to lose a game or two,” NFL insider Jason Cole said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “This is exactly like 1993 with Emmitt Smith. They win a championship, they come back, go 0-2 to start the season and Jerry has to give in on the contract and pay what Emmitt wants. He was upset about it, but that’s basically what’s going to happen. I’m not sure they have to go 0-2, but there will be a pressure point for Jerry where he says, ‘I need this player.’ At that point, hell give in on this one.”

That, by the way, is nothing new for Jones.

“He always does this,” Cole said. “He will eventually pay the guy and make sure he’s taken care of – because he does believe in paying stars. His problem is he’s very much afraid of what Zeke is going to become if he pays him.”

If the Cowboys pay Elliott, though, what does that mean for Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper?

“There’s a pretty good chance that Amari Cooper won’t be with this team after this upcoming season – or at least won’t get the money he wants and they’ll have to franchise him,” Cole said. “But I don’t think Dak is going to go anywhere. I think they’re going to pay Dak at some point in time. I think Dak is going to be one of these contracts where it looks a little bit like Blake Bortles – short-term, high-average. A three-year deal that averages $28-, $29 million a year or something like that. I don’t think they’re going to want to pay him the kind of guaranteed money long-term that he’s going to be looking for, so they’ll overpay him on a short-term contract.”

Click below to listen to Cole’s interview in its entirety.