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Did Ezekiel Elliott’s Signing Change The Dallas Cowboys’ Odds?

Ezekiel Elliot Dallas Cowboys Betting Odds

The anticlimactic contract extension of running back Ezekiel Elliott finally arrived with the Dallas Cowboys signing their star to a five-year, $90-million deal Wednesday morning. All seems to be well for America’s Team going into the 2019 regular season and oddsmakers have kept their lines sharp for the Cowboys following training camp.

The Cowboys opened as 7-point favorites vs the New York Giants for Week 1 and while the line climbed as high as -8 at some sportsbooks, the spread never really dropped despite Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Zeke going through a public negotiation and threats of a holdout. As of this writing, the Cowboys are 7.5-point favorites vs the Giants.

In an alternate universe where the Cowboys decided not to offer Ezekiel Elliott a new contract and he decided to hold out, the Week 1 line vs the Giants would likely have dropped to -4 or less as it’s a steep drop-off from Zeke to rookie backup Tony Pollard.

Elliott has yet to miss a game due to injury in his brief three-year career but he did have to miss six games in 2017 due to suspension and the Cowboys offense suffered as a result.

See the table below for the impact that Ezekiel Elliott has on the Dallas offense:

Cowboys OffenseWith ElliottWithout Elliott
Number of Games438
Passing Yards222.0191.3
Points/Game2419.9
Rush Yards/Game140.3106
Rush Yards/Attempt4.73.8
Rushing TDs518
Time of Possession31:3028:45

As you can see, it’s quite obvious there was a drop-off in the Cowboys offense with Elliott out of the lineup and Dak Prescott instead having to shoulder the load. Dallas saw a decline in points scored, rushing yards and time of possession per game. The former Ohio State product makes this offense go, which is why Dallas had little leverage in the extension negotiations even though he had two years left on his rookie contract.

Dallas Cowboys - Super Bowl and NFC East Odds

While the line movement for Week 1 didn’t change much, oddsmakers also didn’t shift the Cowboys’ odds at all to win the Super Bowl. Dallas was +2200 to win the Super Bowl as of August 30 and after signing Ezekiel Elliott to his contract extension, the Cowboys remained at +2200 to win the championship.

As for the NFC East, a little bit of movement occurred with the announcement of Elliott’s signing as the Cowboys’ price shifted from +140 as of August 30 to +135. They still remain behind Philadelphia to win the division, with the Eagles at EVEN odds.

Check out our betting preview for the Dallas Cowboys’ Week 1 matchup with the New York Giants for more info on this divisional matchup.