Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott gets $16.3 million signing bonus in $24.9 million deal with Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel is officially signed, sealed and delivered.

The fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft inked a four-year, $24.9 million deal with the Cowboys Wednesday, including a $16.3 million signing bonus, per sources.

The deal is fully guaranteed and comes with a fifth-year option.

Elliott’s agreement tops that of last year’s fourth pick, receiver Amari Cooper, got a four-year, $22.7 million deal from the Oakland Raiders.

Elliott was one of four draft picks to come to terms with the Cowboys on Wednesday, joining the three sixth rounders in cornerback Anthony Brown, safety Kavon Frazier and running back Darius Jackson.

Still unsigned are linebacker Jaylon Smith (second round), defensive tackle Maliek Collins (third round), defensive end Charles Tapper (fourth round), quarterback Dak Prescott (fourth round) and tight end Rico Gathers (sixth round).

But Elliott was the big fish, as he is one of only three running backs ever picked by the Cowboys in the top 20 of the NFL Draft. The others were Hall of Famers Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith.

Elliott is not only expected to carry on the great running back tradition with the Cowboys but he is being counted on to be the focal point of the offense while taking pressure off of quarterback Tony Romo.

The former Ohio State star is considered the most complete back to enter the league in more than a decade and is expected to make an immediate impact as a runner and receiver in 2016.

His addition has buoyed the team’s hope of bouncing back from last year’s 4-12 campaign with a NFC East and a deep playoff run.

Tight end Jason Witten has already been impressed with what he’s seen from Elliott in the off season program.

“I think it starts with Zeke,” Witten said. “I think the last two weeks, been out there with the teaching sessions with him. It’s been impressive about how he’s gone about it. So, you can tell that he’s polished and he’s smooth. You don’t want to over analyze it yet. We’re not even in pads. But I think everyone is working the right way. I think they’re going to come in and he’s going to be a good asset for this football team.”

Coach Jason Garrett said Elliott has made a seamless transition from college to the NFL so far.

“He’s done a real nice job,” Garrett said. “The rookies have a lot to learn in a short period of time. But we spend a lot of time with them in the meeting room and get a chance to be on the field with them a few times a week and try to challenge them and try to get them up to speed as quickly as possible. And Zeke has responded well as have the other rookies.”


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