According to multiple reports, the superstar running back is returning to Dallas from Cabo San Lucas, where he’s trained for the last month of his ballyhooed holdout. Per ESPN, Elliott is flying home “in order to be present to sign a contract Tuesday if the sides agree to a deal.”
The news came directly on the heels of Dallas signing right tackle La’el Collins to a record-setting, $50 million contract extension, which features $35 million in guarantees — the most ever for a RT.
At last check, Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reported Monday night, the Cowboys and Elliott’s representatives enjoyed a “more positive day” following a supposedly contentious turn of events Sunday. But Robinson claims a structure issue is the culprit in oft-stalled talks, and the sides still have middle ground to meet.
“Latest on #Cowboys & Zeke. A more positive day. Issues continue on structure. Big one: The impact of the 30-percent rule has been a grind,” Robinson tweeted. “Basically pushes a lot of money up front or forces creative measures to meet Gurley APY. Dallas doesn’t want a frontloaded deal. Progressing.”
Elliott, who missed the entirety of training camp and the preseason, is pining to become the NFL’s highest-paid RB, eclipsing the $15 million in annual salary that Todd Gurley currently receives.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has toed the line in recent days between cautious optimism and clear-as-day posturing. After initially affirming he’s comfortable heading into the regular season sans Elliott, he’s now “hopeful” the reigning rushing champion will be in the lineup Sunday against the New York Giants.
But “serious work” remains, and Jones isn’t ready to say uncle.
“We’ll see how today goes,” Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Monday morning. “We’ll see how tomorrow goes. We’ll see how the ensuing hours pan out.”
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Cowboys Create Extra Cap Room
The Collins extension actually works in Elliott’s favor, as it opened an additional $5.7 million in salary cap space. Every penny will be put toward the bevy of stars seeking new deals, including Elliott, quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper and cornerback Byron Jones.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who admits his chatter is “unconfirmed,” the Cowboys are set to sign Elliott to a six-year, $90 million extension. A press conference reportedly has been scheduled for Wednesday, per 105.3 The Fan.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL