With just one week until the start of the 2019 NFL regular season, the Ezekiel Elliott saga trudges forward in Dallas.
Over the course of the past two days, it has been suggested that Elliott and the Cowboys might in fact come to terms on a contract extension prior to the start of the regular season.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport tweeted on Sunday that progress has been made, but there are a number of hurdles to clear before an extension is signed:
The #Cowboys and RB Zeke Elliott have made progress on a new contract extension over the last 24 hours, sources say. They aren’t there yet, and many obstacles remain. But there is some optimism.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 1, 2019
Meanwhile, Yahoo! Senior NFL reporter Charles Robinson has said that the two sides are in fact nearing a deal:
The #Cowboys are close to completing a contract extension with running back Ezekiel Elliott. I’m reporting this. Not speculating it.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 1, 2019
The fact that an extension is on the horizon rather miraculous considering where the two sides were just a few days ago, when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that he expected Elliott to miss a number of games due to the holdout:
Jerry Jones on Ezekiel Elliott: “I’m operating as though, right now, he’s going to miss regular-season games. My entire expectation for what we’re putting together as a team right now would anticipate … that he’s going to miss games. I just accept that.” https://t.co/HWQCBalZ0q
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 30, 2019
This statement came just a few weeks after Jones had repeatedly engaged Elliott's camp in a series of mind games.
At the end of July, Jones had said that an NFL team did not need a rushing champ in order to win the Super Bowl. Just over two weeks later, Jones made a “Zeke who?” remark to reporters after Tony Pollard rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown on just five carries in a preseason win over the Los Angeles Rams, which reportedly angered Elliott.
However, it now appears that the Cowboys are on the verge of locking up their All-Pro running back, who led the NFL in rushing for the second time in his career in 2018.