Jerry Jones: You don't need a rushing champ to win SB

Print

As Ezekiel Elliott's holdout from Dallas Cowboys' training camp presses forward with no discernible end in sight, owner Jerry Jones finds himself in a "dilemma."

With a bevy of stars up for new contracts, the Cowboys must decide whether meeting Elliott's contract demands is in the best interest of the team. The running back is seeking a new contract with two years left on his current deal. NFL Network's Jane Slater reported that Elliott is headed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to train during his holdout.

The last time Jones went through a similar situation was back in 1993, when Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith held out two games into the regular season (both Dallas losses) before Jones relented and paid the running back. The Cowboys went on to win the Super Bowl.

Flash forward a quarter of a century later and Jones pondered in an interview with CBS 11 during training camp in Oxnard, California published on Monday whether paying a running back in 2019 makes sense.

"The point there is, you don't have to have a rushing champion to win a Super Bowl ... Emmitt was the first one to do it," Jones said.

Since Smith accomplished that feat in 1992, 1993 and 1995, only Terrell Davis in 1998 led the league in rushing and won a Super Bowl in the same season, per NFL Research.

"That's one of the dilemmas at running back is that the league knows that you can win Super Bowls and not have the Emmitt Smith back there or not have Zeke back there," Jones said.

For Jones, who has stuck by Zeke through several off-field issues, it's not as simple as to pay or not to pay a running back, but whether the Cowboys could do that and still have a roster full of good players at key positions.

"You've gotta do all of the things along with having Zeke that allow you to have other players so that you can win the Super Bowl. That's what we're going through," Jones said.

Therein lies the issue for the Cowboys. No one questions Zeke's importance to the Cowboys offense. But with Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and others also looking for new contracts, Dallas must decide where to best spend its money.

Print