Today is August 6th, the deadline for Ezekiel Elliott to report to camp in order to accrue a service year toward eventual free agency. There have been no reports that Elliott plans to report today, in fact, it’s now being revealed that he is fully committed to his holdout. So committed that he won’t play without a new deal according to a source.
Representatives for running back Ezekiel Elliott have told Dallas Cowboys that he will not play in the 2019 season without a new contract, a source close to the situation told ESPN’s Josina Anderson on Tuesday.
As we all know, in negotiations of this type both sides tend to posture and make statements, or leak to the press, about things they want to get across. The seriousness of these media reports are sometimes tough to gauge, but to some extent you have to take the Zeke camp at their word. They appear to be blowing through the Aug 6th deadline for accruing a service year, which as we have discussed doesn’t mean much for this year, but could have implications next offseason if a new deal is not reached in the interim.
Zeke’s camp seems convinced a deal will be reached in the interim; they even think it will happen before the possibility of Zeke missing a game in 2019.
The source added that at this time, it is not likely that Elliott’s holdout continues into the regular season, based on the belief that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants to get a new deal done with the running back before Week 1.
According to the ESPN/Josina Anderson report, Zeke informed the Cowboys of this stance all the way back in January. If that’s the case, both sides have known where this is headed all offseason.
The Cowboys and Jerry Jones have made somewhat conflicting statements about a new contract for Elliott. On one hand, they have stated they are not going to endanger their financial plan and don’t want to be market-setters, but Jerry has also said that when he wants to get a deal done he always gets it done.
It didn’t seem like there was much hope of Elliott reporting anytime soon, this revelation only reinforces that. The Aug 6th deadline wasn’t even a discussion in the Zeke camp. They are all-in on a new contract, and the Cowboys have apparently known this all year. But as is said, deadlines make deals, and it might be the Week 1 deadline of the regular season that makes this deal.