Round and round, we go. When Ezekiel Elliott signs, nobody knows.
After previously reporting the Dallas Cowboys were “close” to locking down Elliott with a lucrative, long-term contract extension, Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson posted a discouraging update Sunday night, claiming the club grew “frustrated” by the reigning rushing champion’s latest (undisclosed) demand.
So, it’s back to the drawing board.
“Update on Zeke Elliott and the #Cowboys: the two sides communicated in the late afternoon,” Robinson tweeted. “Dallas is frustrated with the last exchange. After Saturday’s momentum, Cowboys expected more compromise to get a deal done today. Didn’t happen, so it’s on to Monday and a hopeful reset.”
Robinson echoed local reporters who reported similar Sunday evening, that Elliott and the Cowboys remain deadlocked on the parameters of his would-be pact.
“Update: A #Cowboys front office source showed less optimism than the source quoted in above report about the momentum toward an agreement,” WFAA’s Mike Leslie tweeted. “This source characterizes the likelihood that a deal gets done in time for Elliott to be ready to play Week 1 as ’50/50.'”
Leslie added: “In fact, this source says the Cowboys have not talked with Elliott’s representatives today… and when asked what’s left to be ironed out, the response was ‘Everything. We’re not close.'”
ESPN’s Todd Archer tweeted an update nearly identical to Leslie’s — and around the same time, too.
“For the whatever it is worth, been told there hasn’t been any discussions between Cowboys and Elliott’s people today,” Archer said. “Could a deal be close? Sure. Is it? Nobody really knows but if it was close wouldn’t there be some talks today? At end of day everybody can/will claim victory.”
Various reports have indicated in recent weeks that Elliott, the Cowboys’ 2016 first-round pick, is pushing to become the NFL’s highest-paid RB, surpassing Todd Gurley and the $15 million in annual money he’s currently receiving.
Earlier this month, Elliott purportedly rejected an offer from Dallas which would have made him the league’s second-highest-paid runner, eclipsing Le’Veon Bell but still stuck behind Gurley.
Owner Jerry Jones said Thursday, in a clear posturing move, he’s expecting Elliott to miss the regular season-opener against the New York Giants on Sept. 8.
‘He can’t, and won’t, miss them all,” Jones confidently predicted.
The Cowboys return to The Star on Monday to begin preparation for the Giants. Rookie Tony Pollard is slated to run with the first-stringers in Zeke’s stead, with veteran Alfred Morris working as his backup.
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Cowboys Stash Two RBs on Practice Squad
Just in case the Elliott discussions fall off a cliff, Dallas is well stocked in its backfield. Beyond Pollard and Morris are rookie Mike Weber and 2018 undrafted free agent Jordan Chunn, both of whom were released at final cuts Saturday, and both of whom resurfaced on the practice squad Sunday.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL