Posted on September 5, 2019, by Travis Pulver
Having seen what the offense could look like without Ezekiel Elliot, they could not have been looking forward to starting the season without their big running back in the backfield. But it now appears that they will not have to worry about that.
Elliot and the Cowboys have agreed on a contract extension that will make Elliot the highest-paid running back in NFL history.
The news broke Wednesday morning, much to the delight of Cowboys fans everywhere. While the Cowboys had mentioned a desire not to set the market—but that is precisely what they ended up doing by signing Elliot to a six-year $90 million extension with $50 million guaranteed.
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As could be expected Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was happy to have his star running back signed and attending practice finally. He had this to say during an interview on CNBC Wednesday morning (via NFL.com):
“Zeke has been arguably our best player. I’m not trying to be unfair to anybody else. But he’s an incremental part to our success. We’re glad to get him booked in; we’re glad to have him on the team….”
For now, Elliot will remain the most underpaid running back in the NFL as he plays through the final year of his rookie contract ($752,137) and the fifth-year option ($9,099,000). But when the extension kicks in for the 2021 season, he will be the highest-paid running back in NFL history with an AAV of $15 million.
Now that he has gotten paid, Elliot is back with the team and going through practice. Whether he plays (or how much he plays) in Week One against the Giants remains to be seen.
So—how should you approach betting on Elliot and the Cowboys now that he is back with the team (odds via DraftKings.com)?
Our Betting Tips And Predictions
- Season Opener vs. New York Giants: Cowboys -7
Even without Elliot, the Cowboys are good enough to shut the Giants down. No matter how much Elliot plays, the Cowboys will win by more than a touchdown.
- Make Playoffs: Yes +110; No -134
- Win NFC East: +165 (second to Eagles -134)
- Wild Card: +450
What would have really hurt the playoff aspirations of the Cowboys would have been losing any of their early (and easy) games because they didn’t have Elliot in the backfield. But now that will not be an issue.
Dallas could easily go 10-6, 11-1, or even 12-4. That means they will make the playoffs (take ‘yes’) and possibly even win the division. The division race could be pretty tight though, so you may want to put a little on winning the division and some on winning the wild card.
- NFC: +1200
- Super Bowl: +2200
Will Dallas win the conference and/or the Super Bowl? That is a hard question to answer because they are good enough to do so, but they will have to get through some teams that are also good enough to do so.
However, there is value to betting on the Cowboys to win both with the odds they have. Just don’t bet the house.
- Ezekiel Elliot– rushing yards: O/U 1375.5
- Rushing yards leader: +400
- Rushing touchdowns leader: +1100
The only way Elliot doesn’t cover the over will be if he gets injured and misses a few games. Otherwise, he is going to surpass 1375.5 yards on the ground this year easily. His only competition for the rushing title is really Saquon Barkley, and it is more likely he hits 1000 yards rushing and receiving instead (take Elliot to win the rushing title).
But Elliot is not the only scoring option the team has in the red zone. So don’t expect him to lead the way in rushing touchdowns.