Ezekiel Elliott on importance of signing massive new deal: 'I believe I'm the best'
Ezekiel Elliott does not lack for confidence.
The former Ohio State star became the highest-paid running back in NFL history Tuesday when he reportedly agreed to a six-year, $90 million extension with the Dallas Cowboys. Elliott’s explanation for why he’s worth that lofty amount of money is pretty simple — because he’s the best, and he wanted to be paid like the best.
“It was (important to be the highest-paid running back) because I believe I’m the best,” Elliott said according to Pro Football Talk.
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Elliott held out for nearly six weeks in order to get his big payday. As fans, we usually view football holdouts as an opportunity for athletes to be lazy and rest, but Elliott called it one of the “hardest things” he’s had to do.
“I think I learned that I am mentally tough,” he said. “It’s definitely one of the hardest things I’ve been through. Just every day not having certainty.”
Elliott passed Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley as the most expensive back in the league with his new contract. Elliott has led the NFL with 101.2 rushing yards per game since entering the league in 2016. He won the 2016 and 2018 rushing titles and a six-game suspension may have been the only thing that kept him from winning the rushing crown in 2017.
The two-time Pro Bowler returned to Cowboys practice Wednesday. While he might be somewhat limited in the first regular season game after missing the entire preseason and training camp, Elliott will dress for this Sunday’s showdown with the New York Giants.