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Cowboys News: Zeke holdout passes deadline, Quinn fractures hand

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Plus, contract talks for Dak and Amari are apparently heating up

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

Cowboys DE Robert Quinn suffers fractured left hand during Tuesday’s practice - SportsDay Dallas Staff

One of the bigger offseason additions for the Cowboys was trading for Robert Quinn, theoretically giving DeMarcus Lawrence a respected pass rushing counterpart. But on Tuesday, Quinn injured his hand and will have to get surgery for it.

The injury bug hasn’t hit the Dallas Cowboys extremely hard this training camp, but it took a bite on Tuesday.

During the Cowboys’ afternoon practice, defensive end Robert Quinn exited early with a fracture in his left hand that will require surgery. However, the team doesn’t expect him to miss any time in the regular season.

Source: Zeke won’t play for Dallas without deal - ESPN Staff

Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t reported for training camp, and many thought he might report by August 6th as it was the deadline to start accruing a season towards free agency. However, that didn’t happen, and instead news broke that he could potentially sit out all season long.

Representatives for running back Ezekiel Elliott have told the Dallas Cowboysthat he will not play during the 2019 season without a new contract, a source close to the situation told ESPN’s Josina Anderson on Tuesday.

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 before Week 1.

Elliott informed the Cowboys in January that he would not play without a new contract, the source said.

Jones said last week that he thought the front office would reach a deal on a contract extension with Elliott, but that it would need to allow the Cowboys to keep all their talent “under the same roof.” The Cowboys also are negotiating extensions with quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper.

Did the market shift on Ezekiel Elliott? How Le’Veon Bell’s deal changed negotiations for the Cowboys RB - Tim Cowlishaw, SportsDay Dallas

The potential threat of Ezekiel Elliott sitting out the regular season is reminiscent of what Le’Veon Bell did in Pittsburgh last year. While Bell sat out all of 2018, he didn’t get the mega deal in free agency he had wanted. So how does that affect Zeke?

New contracts generally do nothing but drive up values for players. They don’t backtrack much, especially in a league as awash in money as the NFL. In the case of Dak, the money that Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz and Ben Roethlisberger have signed for in 2019 has driven Prescott’s money into the $30 million per year range.

So if Bell, in effect, dropped the price slightly for Zeke, I understand the Cowboys’ determination to argue that point. As Jones indicated, 32 teams had the opportunity to go after Bell -- who has been viewed as the most complete back in the game -- and this is the number he signed for with the Jets.

That is a better barometer than what one team (the LA Rams) chose to pay its player already under contract.

On the other hand, the Gurley deal was reached when he was at the same point in his career as Elliott -- three seasons complete with two years left on his rookie contract. Bell already had played five seasons, and some teams view running backs as hitting a cliff somewhere in that range.

Ezekiel Elliott gains nothing by sitting out the full season - Mike Florio, NBC Sports

While Le’Veon Bell didn’t get the size of contract that he initially wanted, he did get away from Pittsburgh via free agency. However, as NBC’s Mike Florio explains, Ezekiel Elliott is not in the same position that Bell was.

Bell ultimately secured free agency in 2019 for a very specific reason. He entered 2018 under his second franchise tag. He believed initially that he needed to show up by the Tuesday after Week 10 to fulfill the second franchise tag. He eventually learned that, even if he didn’t play at all in 2018, the Steelers would be stuck with the rules of the third franchise tag in 2019. In lieu of offering Bell $25 million or more under the third franchise tag (or more than $14 million under the transition tag), the Steelers let Bell enter the market.

Elliott doesn’t have that same posture. His contract runs through 2020. If he skips a full season, his contract tolls by a year, pushing his $3.853 million salary from 2019 to 2020 and likewise nudging his $9.099 million salary for 2020 to 2021.

The better approach would be to show up before Week 10, get credit for the contract year, and then enter 2020 at a salary of $9.099 million.

Eric Dickerson agrees Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott needs to get his money now: ‘They’re running him to death’ - Calvin Watkins, SportsDay Dallas

Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson took Ezekiel Elliott’s side in the ongoing debate about Zeke’s holdout, pointing to the way that running backs often get devalued in the NFL today. He also provided some hope that a deal will get done in time.

Dickerson said he’s spoken to Elliott and to his agent, good friend Rocky Arceneaux and believes a deal can be reached.

”I don’t think it’s that bad,” Dickerson said Tuesday morning. “I don’t know, I talked to his agent, Rocky. I think they will get something done. I just feel like Zeke is the best player on that football team and he has a window as a running back. You can cut it however you want it, but he has a window, let’s just be for real. He does. Running backs are not like quarterbacks. This isn’t Jerry’s fault or even Zeke’s fault. This is the (Executive Director of the NFLPA) DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA’s fault.”

Dickerson said, just based on his conversations, Elliott will miss the majority of the preseason, which isn’t that big of a deal because he doesn’t get carries in the summer anyway. When the regular season starts, that’s when things get tricky.

Cowboys have ‘generous’ offers for Dak, Elliott, Cooper - Kevin Patra, NFL.com

While the drama rages on with Ezekiel Elliott’s contract, reports came from Jane Slater that the Cowboys have made offers to their trio of Dak Prescott, Zeke, and Amari Cooper that the Cowboys considered “generous.”

NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported Tuesday that the Dallas Cowboys have “generous” offers on the table for Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott, that would put each one in the top five at their positions, per a source.

Slater adds that the Cowboys are ready and willing to get deals done, but if both sides can’t agree on numbers that make more sense, they’re prepared to play this season with each player on a prove-it deal.

Over the weekend, Jones confidently said ”it’ll happen” when asked about the trio’s contract situations working out, noting that the Cowboys are in too good of a place not to resolve the conditions.

Previously, Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones said Dallas wouldn’t be “market-setters.” Each player’s salary falling in the “top five,” as Slater reported, would be in line with the Cowboys’ stance.

Jason Garrett: Cowboys are “way far off” as a team - Charean Williams, Yahoo Sports

As the Cowboys inch closer to the start of the 2019 regular season, head coach Jason Garrett has a lot of pressure to succeed. It seems that he’s transferring that pressure to the team he coaches as well, given his comments after Tuesday’s practices.

“We’re way far off as a team. We’re not even close,” Garrett said Tuesday, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I thought there were some flashes on both sides of the ball and the kicking game, flashing in each of the three units, but we’re not even close. Back to work. This is an important three-day stretch for us now.”

The Cowboys have not had Elliott, who is holding out while seeking a contract. But they have the other 21 players who started the playoff game against the Rams in January. They also have tight end Jason Witten, who has unretired, and center Travis Frederick, who missed last season with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, back.

“We just know we’re not close,” Garrett said. “The consistency you need with players, with units, throughout practice, young guys, how we communicate, we’re just a long way off. I don’t think it’s unique. Six real practices into training camp, that’s where teams are. But the blue-white scrimmage is always a good barometer to see where guys are, how guys handle it. It’s not a game. We understand that. It’s very situational, but you do get a glimpse to check in 10 days into it to see where we are. It’s incumbent on us to clean it up as coaches and get back here the next three days and really take the next step as a football team.”

Film room: 5 Cowboys players who have impressed the most at camp, including a trio of rookies - John Owning, SportsDay Dallas

Training camp is the first real chance to get an idea of which players are primed for a big year, and there have certainly been some who have stood out in the Cowboys’ camp. As John Owning writes, Xavier Woods has been one of the best so far.

The belle of the ball has undoubtedly been Xavier Woods, who has been the most impressive player by far.

In the context of a camp practice, where there’s no tackling to the ground, Woods has done it all. He’s seeing everything clearly, making plus-breaks on the ball, showing range, taking great pursuit angles and covering up teammates’ mistakes. It’s clear his confidence is at an all-time high, as he’s been much more vocal than in years past.

It’s also clear that Woods put in a ton of work during the offseason, as he was one of nine players rewarded with a golf cart to use during camp for his work in the offseason program. When asked where he thinks he improved most during the offseason, Woods said:

“I would say my intellect, my IQ, my mental. Learning more about the game and learning how to be a better safety. And learning more how to be a better leader. That’s the role I had to step up into this year. That’s what I think I’ve gotten better at.”