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Cowboys news: Ezekiel Elliott not on plane to Oxnard, prelude to a holdout?

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The news around the Cowboys trip to Oxnard was centered around the two-time rushing leader, Ezekiel Elliott.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys-Minicamp Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Zeke Misses Flight, Has Until Friday To Report To Camp- David Helman- DallasCowboys.com
Ezekiel Elliott didn’t board the team plane to Cowboys' training camp in Oxnard but still has until Friday to report.

After weeks of speculation that the All-Pro running back was mulling a holdout, the Cowboys’ chartered flight to California departed Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport without him on Thursday.

Given the context, that is understandably intriguing. But Cowboys players were sure to point out that Elliott doesn’t have to report until Friday.

“There’s a lot of guys that didn’t get a chance to make the flight,” said Jaylon Smith. “Official camp day is tomorrow, so tomorrow is when we’ll see who’s here and who’s ready to go.”

Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott not on team plane to camp - Kevin Patra-NFL.com
Friday morning will tell us much more about Ezekiel Elliott’s plans.

NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported that the running back was not on the team flight, where they will travel for the start of training camp Friday in Oxnard, CA.

Elliott has until Friday morning to report to camp, and it’s notable that players in the past have chosen to fly on their own and meet the team in California. Whether this is Zeke’s plan remains unknown as of Thursday afternoon.

Coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday he anticipated Elliott being on the team charter. He anticipated incorrectly.

Elliott has reportedly been considering a training camp holdout as his contract extension is negotiated. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport said earlier this week that “all options are still on the table,” including a holdout.

Start the clock on a potential holdout: Ezekiel Elliott isn't on the Cowboys' plane to training camp-Calvin Watkins-SportsDay
There is certainly some smoke to the Ezekiel Elliott rumors but is there any fire or just premature reporting?

Elliott has until Friday morning to report before the team can begin to fine him up to $40,000 for each day missed, according to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. If he doesn’t report by Aug. 6, he will not be credited with an accrued season, delaying his entry into free agency by a year.

The Cowboys are trying to reach agreements on new contracts with several top players including Elliott, who has two years remaining on his deal. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones has said the franchise wants to keep Elliott long-term and expressed the $45 million guaranteed given to the Rams’ Todd Gurley is a starting point for negotiations.

Ezekiel Elliott Rumors: Cowboys RB Seeking Contract Larger Than Todd Gurley's -Paul Kasabian- Bleacher Report
It's rumored that the two-time NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott wants a contract extension that eclipses Todd Gurley.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported Thursday that Dallas Cowboysrunning back Ezekiel Elliott, who is under contract through 2020, is seeking an extension that surpasses Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley’s four-year, $57.5 million deal.

The news comes after Jane Slater of NFL Network reported that Elliott was not on the team’s flight from Dallas to Oxnard, California, the site of team training camp. However, camp doesn’t begin until Saturday, and Slater further mentioned that players have made their own way to California in the past.

Talks surrounding Elliott, his reported desire for an extension and potential plans to hold out have been rumbling for a few weeks. Of note, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio, who previously wrote on July 15 that Elliott has “privately said that he will hold out of training camp unless he gets a new contract,” reported that the former Ohio State Buckeye was “believed to be making plans for a trip out of the country” as of July 20.

Report: Tyrone Crawford to open training camp on PUP list, joining three other Cowboys - RJ Ochoa-Blogging The Boys
Another Cowboys defensive player will be on the PUP list to start camp.

This week it was essentially confirmed that both Byron Jones and DeMarcus Lawrence will begin training camp in Oxnard on the PUP list. They are not alone in that regard.

On Thursday afternoon it was reported by ESPN that defensive end Tyrone Crawford will be joining his defensive teammates on the list thanks to recovery from a hip injury. This isn’t ideal, but it’s far from the end of the world, and it’s a lot better than the other news people thought could be coming with regards to Crawford (in relation to his offseason misstep).

‘Extra Excitement’ For Frederick’s Camp Return- Rob Phillips- DallasCowboys.com
After a year away from on-field work due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, Travis Frederick is excited and thankful to be back at training camp.

Frederick was on a modified workout plan with the athletic training staff during the offseason program, due in part to having clean-up shoulder surgery and a hernia repair unrelated to GBS.

All along, Frederick has pointed to the start of camp for his full return and believes padded practice will be the best gauge of his progress since the illness. The Cowboys’ first non-pads practice is Saturday. He’ll have a better idea about his practice plan Friday, after the players have their customary physicals, conditioning run and meetings.

“I haven’t talked to the trainers yet and we don’t have our physicals until tomorrow, so we’ll double check in on everything,” he said. “But I feel really good and I’m excited to see where I’m at.

'I don't take anything for granted': After missing last season, Travis Frederick is ready to return to football- Calvin Watkins- | SportsDay
Travis Frederick is ready to finally put the last year behind him and move forward with his football career.

Cowboys center Travis Frederick just didn’t feel right at the start of training camp last year. Frederick figured it was more about being nervous for the start of the year than anything else. But his physical problems just didn’t go away and doctors diagnosed him with Guillain-Barre syndrome. Frederick missed the entire 2018 season and now that he’s been cleared to play this year, it’s given him a new perspective on football.

”You don’t get to realize what you have until its gone and you get a chance to evaluate that and get excited about what you do have,” Frederick said Thursday as the Cowboys arrived for training camp. “Also, I gained a sense of peace about where I was. I am excited to take each day in and really savor the experience.”

Cowboys Release WR Allen Hurns, Sign QB Taryn Christion Before Training Camp – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
The Dallas Cowboys have released wide receiver Allen Hurns and signed a quarterback as the team gets set for training camp.

Hurns joined the Cowboys last season on a two-year, $12 million contract. According to reports, the team wanted to keep Hurns but at a reduced price. The receiver ultimately decided to test the free agency market as teams start their training camps.

Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Jacksonville in 2014, Hurns spent four years with the Jaguars. His best season came a year later when he had 1,031 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns.

To fill Hurns’ spot, the Cowboys signed quarterback Taryn Christion of South Dakota State. Christion will be the fourth QB in training camp, which starts Saturday in Oxnard, California.

Film room: Which Cowboys wide receiver benefits most from the departure of Allen Hurns? -John Owning-SportsDay
Who will benefit most from the departure of Allen Hurns? Competition will be flowing among the Cowboys' receivers.

Cedrick Wilson

If Brown proves not to be ready for the opportunity, then Cedrick Wilson has the next best shot. Wilson, a sixth-round pick in 2018 who missed the entirety of his rookie season because of a shoulder injury, has an uphill climb to make the 53-man roster this season. However, he will also see his chances improve greatly in Hurns’ absence.

Even though Brown has more appealing potential, Wilson is the backup receiver whose skill set is most akin to Hurns’. Wilson has decent size (6-2, 199) to go with average speed (4.55) and smooth route-running ability.

Unlike Brown, Wilson’s lack of deep speed doesn’t prevent him from separating from coverage, as he proved to be a much more refined and nuanced route-runner in college than Brown. Wilson does a good job, especially for his age, of varying the pacing of his route, which enables him to better manipulate the movement of a defensive back. Wilson also understands how to attack a defensive back’s leverage to create space and separation at the break point in a route.

Wilson is by no means a perfect route runner, but he’s much further along in his development than Brown.