The Cowboys reportedly insist they have made offers that for their position to Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott, according to reports from NFL Network’s Jane Slater and ESPN’s Todd Archer.
As for Elliott, who remains a holdout from training camp, sources close to the running back have reaffirmed that putting game checks at risk, and having a holdout bleed into the regular season, is not something Elliott wants to do.
On Monday, former NFL running back Eric Dickerson told FS1’s “Undisputed” that Elliott’s agent, Rocky Arcenaux, told him into the regular season. According to Dickerson, Arcenaux said it was possible Elliott missed some of the regular season, but they didn’t want that to happen.
Asked about Dickerson’s claim, a source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that Elliott and his representatives have told the Cowboys, as far back as in January, that he would not play in 2019 without a new contract. But Anderson reported that her source said at this point it’s not likely that Elliott’s holdout drags into the regular season, citing public remarks by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that he is confident the team can and will get deals done with Elliott, Prescott and Cooper.
The dialogue between the sides has continued privately through all of this, according to sources, and Jerry Jones has made it known both publicly and privately that he is willing to make the running back among the highest paid at that position in the history of the game.
Elliott is under contract through 2020, due to make $3.853 million this season and $9.09 million next season, meaning the running back’s only leverage for a new deal is to hold out.
But by extending his holdout to this point, Elliott has already lost a year of accrued seasons toward his free agency and benefits. His situation differs from Le’Veon Bell, who sat out the season under a second franchise tag. So, if Elliott were to sit out all year, he would come back a third-year player and the Cowboys would still have his rights for at least three more years, including potential franchise tags. Essentially, Elliott’s status and existing contract simply would be delayed a year.
Currently, Elliott is subject to a fine of $40,000 per day, and the Cowboys also can seek to recoup a prorated portion of his signing bonus. If Elliott does not report before the team’s first preseason game (Saturday at the San Francisco 49ers), he could be fined a regular-season game check, worth approximately $226,000.
Jerry Jones has said he is confident “it’ll happen” when asked about resolving the contract situations with Elliott, Prescott and Cooper. Jones also said last week that he thought the front office would reach a deal on a contract extension with Elliott but that it would need to allow the Cowboys to keep all their talent “under the same roof.”