Mac Engel

A message for Zeke: Please don’t be dumb and throw away any more money

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The Dallas Cowboys’ preseason is effectively over, and the Zeke Watch continues with all of the intrigue of a cat stuck in a tree.

Only the Cowboys’ Cabo cat is not stuck because he climbed up the tree knowing full well he can get down whenever he wants.

If the Cowboys call the fire department, aka “The Bank of Jerry,” to rescue running back Zeke Elliott from his Cabo perch, shame on them. They don’t need to do this right now.

But Zeke should disregard any talk from Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, Charlotte, or anyone, about taking “less of the pie” because of the team. Pro athletes are their own teams and their own businesses, and any talk of taking less for “the team” is high school, rah-rah nonsense.

Pro football is about cash, as much for the team’s owners as their employees.

After watching Houston Texans’ starting running back Lamar Miller carted off the field early in the first quarter of the Cowboys’ blowout win on Saturday night in a fake game, every Cowboys fan, coach and Jones should want Zeke to remain in that tree until Sept. 8.

And Zeke has to see that injury to know why he is sitting, and also why he must return.

He should push as hard as possible, run on Cabo’s beaches, and, on the eve of the season-opener against the New York Giants, climb down from his tree.

At that point, Zeke should take the Cowboys’ latest, best offer. Whatever it is.

Sitting is not going to be worth missing one game check.

ZEKE MISSING ONE CHECK

Thus far Zeke has missed nothing, and yet his absence remains the most interesting development in an otherwise standard preseason and camp for the Cowboys.

Only the Cowboys can make nothing interesting, and worth debating every single day.

Only the Cowboys can make an innocent joke from Jerry a national story, and a point of faux outrage from Zeke’s agent. You are bleeping right Jerry has earned the right to joke with Zeke.

Considering Zeke’s proven on-the-field production, he can be trusted as a player that he knows what he’s doing. Off the field? Not so much.

This is what Zeke has to know: If he misses one game, he’s flushing well over six figures.

If Zeke misses one game, he forfeits more than $226,655. That’s dollars.

Don’t be dumb. Don’t assume you will be making $226,655 every week for the rest of your life.

This is a young man who already had to miss six games from his second season because of his NFL suspension. Those are six game checks he will never see.

He’s already missed enough games, and enough checks, for one career.

Careers are short, particularly so for running backs.

It’s one thing to push and fight for more money, and it’s quite another to throw away a quarter of a million dollars.

ZEKE’S TIMELINE

Cowboys rookie running back Tony Pollard has had a few nice moments this preseason, and he’s not Zeke. Jerry knows it.

The Cowboys can only be what they want to be with Zeke starting. Jerry knows it.

A deal will get done, and Zeke will play for the Cowboys on Sept. 8.

He’s one of the top two running backs in the NFL, and, for his sake, he should push to be paid like it.

What he should not do is take a $225,000 check for granted, as if those will be there for the rest of his life.

Zeke will only get this one chance for this contract, and he has to do what’s right for his team, rather than the Dallas Cowboys.

The day is coming he will have to climb down from his tree, because the best interest of his own team will be not to forfeit a $225K check.

BIG MAC BITES

Not sure how much he has left but it was fun to see Jason Witten back in a Cowboys uniform for a game again.

The Texas Rangers posted a team earned-run average of 4.82 before the All-Star break. Since the All-Star break, that figure is 5.41.

Not sure if you have seen the photos, but Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis has not only hit the weight room this offseason, but lived in it. He looks like he could dance in a UFC ring.

Exciting to see author Jim Dent’s book “12 Mighty Orphans” is being produced into a major Hollywood production, and will be shot where it should: In Fort Worth.

The story of the football team from Masonic Home in Fort Worth has every essential element for a successful film.

People have been trying to raise money to produce Dent’s book since it was published in 2008. Guys tried to recruit Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to lend some funds.

Actor Luke Wilson will star, and here is to hoping they can do some filming at Farrington Field, where the Mighty Mites played many of their games.

Took my 10-year-old daughter to the Cowboys’ preseason game on Saturday night. In the car she asked, “Why are we going to a preseason game?’

Good question.

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Mac Engel is an award-winning columnist who has extensive experience covering Fort Worth-Dallas area sports for 20 years. He has covered high schools, colleges, all four major sports teams as well as Olympic games and the world of entertainment, too. He combines dry wit with first-person reporting to complement a head of hair that is almost unfair.
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