In the past three full months, Ezekiel Elliott has sold more jerseys than any other NFL player.
That’s an impressive stat for the current Dallas Cowboys and former Ohio State running back, given that players who were already in the league had a 27-day jump on Elliott, who was drafted fourth on April 28. Elliott’s home and away jerseys were available for preorder later that night.
Based on sales from April 1-June 30 on NFLShop.com, the league’s official online site, Elliott beat out New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who despite the focus on Deflategate finished in the second spot, followed by New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Carson Wentz, who was picked second in the draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, finished sixth.
Elliott undoubtedly had quite the momentum coming into the league, given Ohio State’s huge fan base. In January 2015, Elliott ran for four touchdowns in the team’s 42-20 victory over Oregon, giving the Buckeyes the first College Football Playoff title.
That’s why it’s no surprise that after Dallas, Columbus is the city that has ordered the most Elliott Cowboys jerseys, according to data from Fanatics, which runs the league’s site.
But Elliott also has done his part by attracting plenty of additional attention with his “crop top” look, appearing on the draft day red carpet showing his abs and rolling up the jersey for the NFLPA Rookie Premiere in May, which was the first time he wore the full Cowboys uniform. Elliott won’t be able to do that in the league, as rules stipulate that a jersey must be tucked into pants and can’t be cut off.
Sales on the official online store do not include sales from the Cowboys store, which is run separately from the league’s teams. The Cowboys are the only team to distribute its own merchandise and control the sales channels for the products. Therefore, the team does not split revenue on the sales it generates in its own channels.
In May, the Cowboys signed Elliott to a deal worth $24.9 million that included a $16.3 million signing bonus. Elliott also has a separate endorsement deal with Nike.