It was an obvious statement, but one that ultimately needed to be confirmed aloud.
Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Wednesday the team would "obviously" pick up running back Ezekiel Elliot's fifth-year option.
It's a no-brainer move that will keep the 2016 No. 4 overall pick under contract in Dallas through the 2020 season. NFL teams own the option to pick up the fifth year on every first-round selection's contract.
The Cowboys know they will have to ante up the dough to Zeke soon enough, but employing the fifth-year option gives the team wiggle room in case talks stall. With Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott both up for free agency after the 2019 campaign, ensuring Zeke is under contract through 2020 frees up the franchise tag just in case the Cowboys need to employ the contract device again.
Zeke's fifth-year option is guaranteed against injury only. In a perfect world, the Cowboys would lock down Prescott, Cooper and Elliott before the 2020 season comes into play. Whether that world comes to fruition is a hazier question.