Lewis: Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott Wasn't Pulling Any Punches In Negotations

LISTEN: Dallas Radio Show Host Talks Zeke Deal, Dak Prescott

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September 05, 2019 - 9:09 am
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The Dallas Cowboys' nightmare scenario is over.

Ezekiel Elliott ended his holdout on Wednesday, signing a six-year, $90 million contract to remain with the Cowboys for the foreseeable future. It's a day Cowboys fans and the front office had hoped to see before the team opens up the season against the Giants on Sept. 8. With the deal, Elliott becomes the highest paid running back in league, surpassing Rams' Todd Gurley's $60 million contract he signed last July. 

Donovan Lewis of 1310 The Ticket in Dallas was surprised the two sides were able to come together and complete an extension ahead of the regular season. He joined Ferrall on the Bench on Tuesday and shared what he believed what was going to happen between Elliott and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and co.

"I'm pretty sure everyone thought that if and when a deal was going to get done, he was going to be the highest paid running back in the league," Lewis said. "He's not going to settle for anything else. What I thought was going to happen early on in this process was that it was a message received from Zeke and that he would report before Game One but a deal wasn't going to get done. That's what I thought. But the longer it went, the longer you saw that Zeke wasn't pulling any punches. He wanted to be the highest paid running back.

"Now, I'm pretty sure Jerry Jones feels that he has the youth and the talent on his team to start making runs."

The Cowboys return their leading rusher from the past three seasons, but still need to ink quarterback Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper to keep its core in tact. Prescott and Cooper are entering the final year of their respective deals, both set to become unrestricted free agents following the season. With the likes of Jared Goff and Carson Wentz recently signing massive extensions, Prescott appears to be the next quarterback to be in line for a massive payday.

"I am shocked Dak doesn't have a new deal right now," Lewis said. "Because as each day goes by and more and more quarterbacks are signing these extensions, the price goes up. Whether we like it or not, or whether we think Dak is not a top 10 quarterback in the league, he's going to be paid like a top quarterback in this league because it's all about timing right now.

"I'm sitting back kind of dumbfounded that they didn't get a deal done already ... as the clock ticks, the price goes up. You have more and more quarterbacks that are signed more lucrative deals and it's going to let Dak command more lucrative money."

Is it fair to start comparing Elliott, Prescott and Cooper - as well as the rest of the team - to the notable Cowboys trio throughout the 1990s? Lewis says not until this Cowboys team is able to string together a strong playoff run. 

It's all in the "prove it stage", Lewis said. "Now, these guys are paid. The expectations are just off the charts right now. We've seen in the last two and a half decades that when expectations are really high, the Cowboys fall really short. So I think we sometimes are a little shy to say, 'oh man, this is one of the best team's we've seen around here because of the depth.' They still haven't won anything. They've only made it to the divisional round a couple of times ... Sure, we see that they have a lot of talent but you've got to start proving something to be compared to those teams in the '90s that won three out of four Super Bowls. 

Click below to listen to Lewis' interview in its entirety.