Ezekiel Elliott is officially late for training camp, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters on Friday afternoon in Oxnard, California.
The Elliott contract extension is becoming a dark cloud hanging over the Cowboys, as the star running back hasn’t yet reported to the team for training camp.
The impasse between Elliott and the Cowboys has developed after nearly a month of low-key conversations between the star running back’s camp and the Cowboys, with Elliott pressing for his extension to be more of a priority alongside the contract talks of quarterback Dak Prescott and wideout Amari Cooper. But to date, sources have indicated the Cowboys remain reticent to rip up what amounts to two more years of contract control over Elliott – which includes the final year of his base deal in 2019 and a team-held Year 5 option next season.
The Cowboys and the running back’s representation failed to progress in talks during a key period last week. That resulted in Elliott first skipping the team’s flight to California for Friday’s camp reporting day. Elliott can be now fined for not reporting. It’s unclear if he’ll sit out his first practice on Saturday.
At this point, the impasse is simple: After being arguably the most dominant running back in the NFL over the past three seasons, Elliott feels he has earned an extension that would make him the highest paid player at his position, exceeding the four-year, $57.5 million deal signed by Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley in 2018.
But while the Cowboys have repeatedly praised Elliott as a key anchor on its offense, the franchise has been coming to grips with other significant contracts that are still in the balance. Those include potential position-pacing deals for both Prescott and Cooper, as well as a massive extension for linebacker Jaylon Smith that is poised to become a pressing issue next offseason.
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