According to a report by the Dallas Morning News, Elliott has recognized that taking a pay cut from the $10.9 million he's scheduled to earn next season would help him fit better into the team's long-term plans.
The report cites an unnamed source familiar with Elliott's thinking.
"I want to be here," Elliott said after Sunday's season-ending loss to the San Francisco 49ers. "I don’t have a crystal ball; I can’t tell you the future. But I definitely want to be here."
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Elliott, 27, rushed for a career-low 876 yards this season while splitting time in the backfield with Tony Pollard, but did score a team-high 12 touchdowns.
However, Pollard suffered a broken fibula in the loss to San Francisco and could be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, further clouding the team's plans.
Under the terms of the contract extension Elliott signed in 2019, he doesn't have any guarantees tied to his salary. So the Cowboys could release him outright and take a salary cap hit for the next two seasons, or they could restructure his contract to make it more team-friendly.
The team is believed to be interested in keeping Elliott as well, the Morning News reports, because of his contributions both on and off the field.
Dallas selected Elliott fourth overall in the 2016 draft. That year, he led the NFL in rushing and finished second to teammate Dak Prescott in the AP rookie of the year balloting. He won another rushing title in 2018 and has been named to the Pro Bowl three times in his seven seasons.
Elliott ranks third on the franchise's all-time rushing list with 8,262 yards, behind only Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ezekiel Elliott open to taking pay cut to stay with Dallas Cowboys