No surprise here, but Jason Garrett is having a good day.
Only 24 hours prior to the Dallas Cowboys making Ezekiel Elliott the wealthiest running back in the history of the NFL, Garrett was unsure if he’d have his two-time All-Pro and two-time league rushing champ on the field for the team’s season opener against the New York Giants. For Garrett, the training camp holdout was especially poignant, because it threatened to derail a season in which the longtime head coach is hoping to secure his own future with the Cowboys. That said, of course Garrett was heavily involved in pushing the negotiation process along, because the presence of Elliott directly correlates to his own financial future.
With the historic six-year, $90 million deal — including $50 million guaranteed — now in the books, Garrett is all smiles.
“Just great to have him back,” he said of Elliott’s return to practice on Wednesday. “He was here this morning for the breakfast club meeting at 7:30. Went through the walkthrough and anticipate him practicing today. He’s been a big part of our team and we’re excited to have him back in the fold.”
“…[We’re] obviously excited. Zeke has been a big part of our team. He’s so well respected by everybody in our organization. He’s been a really important player for us. It’s great to get him back in here. I know they were working hard on it last night. I was in those conversations. Then this morning we work up early and we found out the news and we got him in here and we’ve had a good day so far.”
Ezekiel Elliott finally signed his deal! And he got … $90 million??? Did the Cowboys make a mistake? Are these numbers real?? What should we expect from him in Week 1?? To answer all those questions plus much more, Will Brinson, John Breech, Ryan Wilson and Jared Dubin fired up an emergency Pick Six Podcast to break it all down. Listen in the player below and subscribe to our daily podcast!
As far as how the Cowboys will work him back in to the practice mix — being careful to monitor his conditioning in the process — Garrett was forthcoming.
“We’ll see how he does,” Garrett said. “He’ll go through the dynamic warmup and the individual and we’ll see how he’s responding. He’s in very good shape. He looks good but he hasn’t been practicing with pro football players.
“We’ll just see how he fits back in but he’s a quick study, he’s a smart guy and he’s got an excellent football IQ. We’ll just see where he is and adjust accordingly as we go.”
And what was the first message Garrett had for Elliott once the terms were agreed to?
“Just get back to work,” Garrett told the 24-year-old. “He dove right in and he was in the 7:30 a.m. meeting and taking part in everything this morning. He’ll practice today. Just get back to work.
“We’re excited to have him back.”
Elliott feels the same way, of course, noting how “excited” he is “to be home” — now focused on winning the Super Bowl. The final storyline to put to bed in the saga was that of a purported rift between Elliott and the Cowboys’ locker room, despite several players having regularly praised what Elliott means to the team. Right tackle La’El Collins — who himself landed a five-year extension just one day ahead of Elliott’s new deal — called the starting running back “family”.
When asked if he caught wind of any sort of dissension in the ranks due to Elliott’s holdout, Garrett quickly quashed the narrative.
“Everybody loves Zeke,” he made clear. “Zeke’s been a really good player for us. He’s a great teammate. He brings great energy and juice, so we’re excited to have him back.
“The guys, I think, have handled any situation and all situations really well this offseason, whether it’s the business side of football, injuries, whatever it is, guys just come to work. That’s what makes you feel most excited.”
What also makes the Garrett and the Cowboys most excited is knowing a guy with 5,247 yards from scrimmage in just 42 regular season games has returned to strap up his helmet and lace up his cleats. In a season with so much on the line for so many, having the big gun back in the holster is paramount to success in a league that doesn’t guarantee it whatsoever.
Thanks to both sides pulling an all-nighter to close the deal, the Cowboys are locked and loaded.
Read this article from its original source at https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/jason-garretts-elated-to-have-ezekiel-elliott-back-but-tells-cowboys-rb-to-get-back-to-work-after-landing-historic-deal/