Jerry Jones makes clear the jokes on Ezekiel Elliott...whenever Jones likes

Jerry Jones photo courtesy of Dallas Cowboys.
Ron Borges

According to his agent, Ezekiel Elliott thought it “disrespectful’’ for his boss to make him the butt of a joke while the Dallas running back refused to work for that boss despite having two more years to go on his contract. After hearing what Rocky Arceneaux had to say one begins to wonder if Elliott lives in Dallas or Alice’s Wonderland, the place where the Mad Hatter ruled.

Here is a guy who in three seasons has led the NFL in rushing twice, which is good, and been suspended for six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, which is not good. That suspension was a result of a domestic violence charge NFL investigators claimed contained “substantial evidence supporting a finding Elliott engaged in physical violence.’’

While prosecutors declined to go forward with the case because of conflicting stories, those marks on the young lady’s neck and boy seemed to argue loudly. At least loudly enough for the NFL to say “Take a timeout, son.’’

Disrespectful? Sounds like Zeke should know.

Disrespectful? How about pulling down another young woman’s top in a view so public it was caught on video? Sounds like Zeke should know.

Disrespectful? How about honoring your contract by preparing with your teammates for the upcoming season while you renegotiate, like Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper are doing in Dallas? Disrespectful? Zeke knows disrespect.

The word "disrespect" has been abused more in professional sports than the word "great," which is saying something because to be “great’’ these days doesn’t take much greatness. It just takes a couple of highlight clips on ESPN.

To be fair, Elliott has supplied more than a few highlights in his three seasons with the Cowboys. He led the league in rushing his rookie season and last year AVERAGED 108.7 rushing yards a game and again led the NFL with 1,631 yards on the ground. It might have been a trifecta if he hadn’t been suspended for those six weeks in 2017.

It should be noted, by the way, that the man he’s mad at, Dallas’ Hall-of-Fame owner, Jerry Jones, fully supported Elliott during his suspension fight. He supported him when he was charged, when the league ruled against him and when he appealed. He even supported him after he lost his appeal, saying some things Commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t find funny, either.

To date, Jones has paid Elliott $22 million for his services, including a $16.35-million signing bonus after drafting him in 2016. This year Elliott is set to earn $3.853 million and will be paid $9.099 million next year. Those numbers do leave him out of the top economic echelon of NFL backs despite the fact that in two of his first three seasons he was the top echelon of NFL back. So if he wants a raise it’s understandable.

But to claim Jones was disrespectful when he said, “Zeke who?’’ when asked about the status of their contract battle following a pre-season game where rookie running back Tony Pollard ran for 51 yards and a touchdown was not only a stretch it was, well, disrespectful. Disrespectful toward a guy who supported Elliott when much of the world thought he acted improperly at best and violently at worst. Jones even supported him when he hauled that woman’s top down in front of a ton of witnesses.

Bad judgment, but boys will be boys ... don’t you know? Especially Cowboys.

Jones even supported the idea of giving Elliott a raise, having reportedly already offered him an extension that would put his new salary among the top five backs in the league. Certainly Ezekiel Elliott can argue for a bigger payday, but he can’t say he’s been disrespected. That’s a point Jones made after Arceneaux’s comment in a statement that said much more than the words Jones uttered.

"The team takes precedent at a point over the opinion or the demand of the individual," said the soon-to-be 78-year-old Jones. "The team takes precedent. This was a team move that we are talking about today. A real team move. The team takes precedent. And I've got the backbone to keep it that way.

"Look, I've earned the right with Zeke to joke. Period. I've earned it…Let me be real clear about it: I've earned that right to joke."

If Ezekiel Elliott thinks he’s been disrespected, how does he think Jerry Jones feels?

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