But, they might not be in as much trouble on offense as it appears at first glance.
Quarterback Dak Prescott has called rookie running back Tony Pollard "one of the most exciting players" in training camp this year, suggesting that the Cowboys could be just fine without Elliott.
The entire situation is eerily reminiscent of how things played out with Le'Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bell held out for a new deal, and when many thought that the Steelers' offense would collapse, James Conner stepped into the spotlight and produced a phenomenal season.
There's no reason to think that Pollard couldn't do that down in Dallas, especially considering the amount of praise he's received from the Cowboys' star quarterback.
Dak Prescott on Tony Pollard: "One of the most exciting players to me of this training camp."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 5, 2019
Jerry Jones on Pollard: "If he continues to get better and better and better, I think you are going to see a guy that plays early for the Cowboys."
His college sample size is small, but it's also undeniably explosive. He managed just 243 touches in three years with the Memphis Tigers, but he averaged 6.8 yards per rush and 9.2 yards per scrimmage play while totaling 18 touchdowns.
Can't stop thinking of how impressive Tony Pollard looked while I was in Oxnard for 2 days. Running style reminds me of Lenny Moore (Google if you're under 40). I know Cowboys want to sign Zeke, but they have great insurance in Pollard. Either way, he'll be involved this year. pic.twitter.com/hnpxmQaPew— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) August 7, 2019
The Cowboys may actually have a bit of a sleeper on their hands with this fourth-round draft choice.
If Pollard continues to impress, then they won't have to lose any sleep wondering whether or not they should shell out the money to Elliott.