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Jerry Jones: I’ve earned the right to joke with Zeke. Let me be real clear about that.

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Jerry defended his Ezekiel Elliott joke.

NFL: Preseason-Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In the immediate aftermath of Jaylon Smith’s contract extension press conference (get all of the details on that right here), Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spoke on matters not related to the team’s star linebacker.

What other matters are there to talk about these days, though? It’s not like the Cowboys have any other major storylines going on, right? In all seriousness, the extension with Smith pointed to the fact that the Cowboys do not having extensions done with Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, or Ezekiel Elliott.

The most tense of those pending deals (using the word “tense” very loosely) involves running back Ezekiel Elliott. Zeke has been holding out of training camp in hopes of a new deal and we’re at a point where everyone is optimistic but nobody really knows what is going to happen.

They say that idle hands are not exactly good for a just cause, and perhaps that was the case last Saturday after the Cowboys defeated the Los Angeles Rams during their second preseason game in Hawaii. While meeting with the media then, following a nice performance from rookie running back Tony Pollard, Jerry Jones joked “Zeke who?” in an effort to be a little light with the overall situation.

This is something that did not go over well with either Zeke or his representation as his agent Rocky Arceneaux put out word through the media that they felt disrespected. Plenty of people debated over whether Jerry crossed some sort of line, but on Tuesday Jerry took an opportunity to defend himself.

Jerry Jones very publicly supported Ezekiel Elliott when the running back fought against a suspension from the NFL two years ago. Jerry put all of his Pro Football Hall of Fame weight behind that cause and effectively did all he could in the name of his player. Of course things didn’t necessarily work out, but it’s true that Jerry tried.

Perhaps it’s this that Jerry is referencing by having “earned” the right to joke with Zeke or maybe it’s the relationship that the two have cultivated since Elliott joined the team three years ago. Whatever the case it seems that Jerry wanted that message to be heard loud and clear which is the latest return serve in this game of ping pong.

What will happen next? Will Elliott have a problem with Jerry feeling that he has the right to joke? Will an extension follow with another press conference? We’ll have to wait and see.