Zeke Watch is in full swing, and nearing its end.
The rumors are true: Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott, who’s on the precipice of becoming the NFL’s highest-paid running back, is indeed departing Cabo San Lucas and bound for the Dallas-Fort Worth area, along with his agent, Rocky Arceneux.
As captured Tuesday by a fellow traveler:
The tea leaves continue to point to Elliott and the Cowboys reaching agreement on a new contract by Wednesday’s practice. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported earlier that negotiations between the sides are in the “final stages,” with the workhorse back set to sign a record-breaking pact, although there are a few language issues still left to hammer out.
“This thing is not done, but from what I understand, they are, at the very least, in the final stages of a deal that would make Ezekiel Elliott the highest-paid running back in the NFL,” Rapoport said. “This would eclipse Todd Gurley’s number — if this gets done. It is not done, from what I understand. There are still a few significant obstacles to overcome as far as how the money is paid and when it is paid. But, from what I understand, both sides are at least hopeful that Elliott is on the field Wednesday when the Cowboys begin practice for the game on Sunday.”
Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reported Monday evening that Dallas and Elliott’s camp enjoyed a “more positive” day at the discussion table. Robinson revealed, however, that the club balked at the idea of front-loading Elliott’s soon-to-be multi-year extension, the last culprit to tackle before an accord is struck.
If they can come to terms, the Cowboys will have locked down two offensive studs in a matter of hours after handing $50 million to right tackle La’el Collins, including a record $35 million in total guarantees.
Dallas created $5.7 million in salary cap space by extending Collins, money they’ll put toward assuaging Elliott’s financial wants.
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Not Done Yet, Apparently
The Cowboys and Elliott are close — really, really close — but not quite at the finish line, according to the Dallas Morning News’ David Moore, who, in the latest Zeke Watch update, cautions that nothing is final until the ink’s dry.
“Let me jump into breathless fray w/ incremental Ezekiel Elliott news: Contract is not done or agreed to in principle, source said. Stephen Jones & Rocky Arceneaux are scheduled to meet into the evening. Elliott’s availability for tomorrow’s practice is undetermined at moment,” Moore tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL