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Cowboys news: Are Cowboys & Ezekiel Elliott getting closer to an agreement with latest reported offer?

Have the Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott inched closer to a deal to end the offseason holdout?

Ezekiel Elliott officially in a holdout with Cowboys Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images

Cowboys reportedly offer to make Ezekiel Elliott second-highest paid running back in NFL -Patrik Walker-
Cowboys reportedly offer Ezekiel Elliott a deal that would make him one of the two highest-paid RBs in NFL

Talks have been progressive and optimistic for weeks, a source continues to affirm to me, but the two sides have been far apart on key points such as guaranteed money. The Cowboys are eyeing the four-year deal on Le’Veon Bell worth $52.5 million with $35 million guaranteed as the floor, but Elliott is focused on surpassing the four-year, $60 million deal awarded to Todd Gurley that includes $45 million guaranteed.

As it stands, things have reportedly progressed to a point where the Cowboys have moved the needle north of Bell but still behind Gurley -- per Ed Werder of ESPN -- with an offer that would make him (at minimum) the second-highest-paid RB in the NFL.

Report: Cowboys offered contract to Ezekiel Elliott that would put him in top two highest-paid RBs - RJ Ochoa-Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys are willing to give Zeke a lot of money and it looks like talks may be progressing at the very least.

Fellow ESPNer Jeff Darlington appeared on Thursday’s edition of Get Up and explained what Werder did to a different degree. According to him this deal “is getting done.”

“I was speaking with a source who has been nails on this since the beginning, who said three months ago that Elliott would hold out and was the first person out there saying it would happen. And he’s saying to me right now that... if you look at this situation for Zeke. Even if he doesn’t get Todd Gurley money, even if he beats out Le’Veon Bell, maybe gets a deal just a hair above that... this is a win for Ezekiel Elliott.”

All of this does sort of have the feeling of things getting close between the Cowboys and Elliott, especially given such a detailed report of where a contract figure might lie. Could this be the end and are we close to the league’s reigning rushing champion rejoining his teammates?

Cowboys upping offer to making Ezekiel Elliott among top-paid RBs in NFL –Josh Alper- ProFootballTalk
More discussion of the possibility of the Cowboys recently upping their offer after they initially downsized it.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said in February that the team thought Todd Gurley‘s contract with the Rams was “probably where it starts” in talks with running back Ezekiel Elliott about a new deal.

Jones revised that stance earlier this month. He called Gurley’s deal “within the realm” while adding that he believes Le’Veon Bell‘s contract with the Jets re-set the market. Bell’s deal calls for a lower annual average salary and less guaranteed money than Gurley is set to receive over the life of his deal in L.A.

Ed Werder of ESPN reports that the team’s latest offer to Elliott comes in between those two deals. None of the terms are disclosed in the report, but the offer would reportedly make Elliott one of the top two highest-paid running backs in the league. Presumably anyone who let Werder know about the offer would have stressed that it was for more than Gurley is getting if that was the case.

NFL: Did Cowboys VP target Ezekiel Elliott's agent in contract comments?-Jason Owens -Yahoo Sports
Cowboys management might have taken a shot at Ezekiel Elliott's agent, Rocky Arceneaux.

“I have a lot of respect for, you know, most agents,” Jones told reporters. “I really do. I think they’re trying to do their job for these players. But I do think sometimes they don’t have the end game that maybe the players should and we do.”

The comment wasn’t directed at anyone in particular. No names were named. But with Elliott’s holdout escalating into a public spat between agent Rocky Arceneaux and Jerry Jones, it’s not hard to do the math on who the target is here.

Arceneaux is a veteran NFL agent who founded the Alliance Management Group that has represented players like Marshall Faulk and Eric Dickerson. He’s negotiated high-profile deals before.

But by leaving names unnamed, Jones made sure the message was delivered in terms of Prescott and Cooper’s negotiations as well.

Sean Lee Ready For First Reps Of Preseason, Hopes to Play vs. HOU - Rob Phillips- Dallas Cowboys
Sean Lee says he’s looking to play in Saturday’s home preseason game against the Houston Texans...Lee in the preseason? For real?!

“I feel great,” Lee said after Thursday’s practice. “Being back with the guys is something I always enjoy, and the trainers did an unbelievable job. I’m ready to keep building and get ready for the season and continue to progress off this week. I think it’s just good to get live reps, particularly as a linebacker tackling live (in practice) is something we don’t do,” Lee said. “Being able to get that under your belt, that live full rep at full speed always helps.”

Report: Amari Cooper dealing with “intrinsic muscle strain” and not plantar fasciitis - RJ Ochoa-Blogging The Boys
There’s a lot of confusion with Amari Cooper but this should clear up the rumors around his foot injury - or not.

On Thursday, the mothership’s Mickey Spagnola was once again on 105.3 The Fan and gave us another about face. Apparently this is an intrinsic muscle strain and not plantar fasciitis. What?

Perhaps the reason it’s taken this long for Cooper to return to the practice field is so that the Cowboys can properly figure out just what the problem is. Maybe that’s optimistic, maybe that’s actually the case.

The regular season is just about two weeks away. Whatever is necessary for Cooper to properly heal up needs to be done, let’s just hope the team has finally figured out exactly how to fix the issue.

Film room: Don’t be surprised if these 3 players make the Dallas Cowboys' 53-man roster-John Owning- SportsDay
Once considered after thoughts, there are a few unsung heroes that have earned that roster spot.

The forgotten man in the competition for the non-starting defensive line spots, Kerry Hyder has really started to come into his own in the last week or so.

A tireless worker, Hyder was often the first Cowboy on the practice field in Oxnard, Calif., refining certain techniques and pass-rush moves while his teammates weren’t even on the field yet. It’s seemingly paid off, as his effectiveness during practices and against San Francisco have been noticeably better compared to the beginning of camp.

Hyder’s hand technique and footwork when rushing the passer, in particular, look much improved. He has developed a very effective cross-chop move -- a favorite of many of the Dallas defensive linemen, most notably DeMarcus Lawrence.

Babe Laufenberg's son Luke dies of cancer at 21- Associated Press
It's a sad day for Cowboys Nation, former backup QB Babe Laufenberg lost his son, Luke, after battling cancer for two years. Our hearts break for Babe and his family, condolences to the Laufenberg family.

Luke Laufenberg, the son of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Babe Laufenberg and a tight end at UTEP, has died after dealing with cancer for two years. He was 21.

The elder Laufenberg posted on Twitter on Thursday, writing: “we lost a son, a brother, a friend, and a warrior.”

Garrett Reflects On The Life Of Luke Laufenberg - David Helman-Dallas Cowboys
Luke Laufenberg, the son of former Cowboys quarterback and current radio broadcaster Babe Laufenberg, lost his fight with cancer Thursday morning. He was just 21 years old.

“Luke was an amazing young man. You guys have heard me talk about ‘Fight’ a lot. I don’t know that I’ve ever a better example of that in my life.

“What he’s gone through the last couple of years, the spirit that he had every day. To battle through it, to always be thoughtful about the people in his life – ‘How’s my mom doing, how’s my dad doing, how’s my brother doing?’ Amazing.

Luke Laufenberg was diagnosed with Burkitt, a rare form of leukemia, in late 2017. He was pronounced cancer free back in May of 2018, but he had battled complications in the time since.

How Will The Cowboys "Modernize" Their Offense Under OC Moore -Kevin Brady- Inside The Star
Many fans of last season grumbled about the lack of flavor in the Cowboys offense, how will OC Kellen Moore modernize the offense where Scott Linehan failed to do so?

Pre-Snap Motion

In 2018 the Cowboys used pre-snap motion 31% of the time, ranking 24th in the NFL according to Sports Info Solutions. New quarterbacks coach Jon Kitna, however, spoke to The Ringer about changing that in 2019.

“We want to spread it out and make the defense have to cover the full field,” Kitna says. “We’re going to try to use formations and shifts and movements to our advantage. I think a lot of people have that idea coming in, but we’re going to emphasize that.” - Jon Kitna

Incorporating more motions would be huge for the Cowboys offense. These motions can create that space Kitna is speaking to, especially considering how often opposing defenses will use man coverage against the Cowboys.

Everything you do as an offense should be done to put the defense in a bind. Make the defense choose between two bad options on every snap. Not only do motions indicate opposing coverages pre-snap, but when combined with stack and bunch formations and a variety of splits they also often force defenses to choose between two bad options.

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