Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott believes he is the “best” after signing a new contract with the NFL franchise.

Cowboys running back Elliott ended a 40-day holdout to sign a six-year, $90million extension – $50m of that guaranteed.

Reflecting on Wednesday’s agreement, Elliott was asked why it was important for him to be the highest-paid player at his position and he said: “I believe I’m the best.”

Elliott said he is happy to be back with the team after holding out for 40 days and training in Cabo with Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk.

The 24-year-old and two-time Pro Bowler expressed gratitude for the amount of support he received from his team-mates.

“Calls, text … I mean, one of my team-mates told me don’t come back without a deal,” Elliott said. “I mean, just support like that from this group of guys meant everything. It definitely would have been harder if things were the opposite.”

As for the running back’s fitness after training on his own during the entire preseason? Elliott said he feels good. 

“He’s in very good shape. He looks good, but he hasn’t practiced with pro football players, so we’ll just see how he fits back in,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “But he’s a quick study. He’s a smart guy, got excellent football IQ. So we’ll just see where he is and adjust accordingly as we go.”

The Cowboys still need to make a move on the 53-man roster for him to play, but Elliott believes he could still handle a full workload if Dallas gave it to him on Sunday.

“I think I’m just going to approach it as a normal week. You still have to be fresh by Sunday,” Elliott said. “It is a long season. So don’t want to try to overdo it and risk injury.”

Elliott – the fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft – said he is just focused on getting better for the Cowboys, who open their season against the New York Giants.

“I’ve just got to take it to the next level now,” Elliott added.