We’ve been waiting a long time for there to be some resolution with the Dallas Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott.
This saga has gone on for quite a while and has featured special guest appearances from people like Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk. Holdouts can often be interesting in the NFL, but it’s hard to remember one that felt this rocky (no pun intended).
All of that seemed to be behind us though, at least on Saturday afternoon. That was shortly after it was reported that talks between Zeke and the Cowboys were “intensifying” which got a lot of people excited. Who wouldn’t want to have the NFL’s reigning rushing champion on the field next week when, you know, the season starts?
Whatever hype was experienced from that was short-lived though as Sunday brought news that “significant ground” still needed to be covered by both sides. This felt like a big-time dip after a nice ride up and roller coasters aren’t exactly my own personal preferred cup of tea.
There are reports coming from multiple directions which makes it hard to know what’s actually happening
Understanding where talks between the Cowboys and Elliott feels like a “choose your own adventure” game these days. We’ve heard that they’re close, very close, not so close, and that they haven’t even spoken all in the span of just one day!
Consider how Sunday kicked off (only a week before actual kick off on a Sunday, mind you). Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reported that the Cowboys and Zeke were close.
The #Cowboys are close to completing a contract extension with running back Ezekiel Elliott. I’m reporting this. Not speculating it.— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 1, 2019
That felt optimistic, but only a few hours later the tide seemed to turn. ESPN’s Todd Archer reported that he was told there hadn’t even been any discussions between Zeke’s camp and the Cowboys on Sunday. He also pointed out, fairly one might add, that if the two sides were indeed “close” it would be fair to assume that they would be talking. Maybe.
For the whatever it is worth, been told there hasn’t been any discussions between Cowboys and Elliott’s people today. Could a deal be close? Sure. Is it? Nobody really knows but if it was close wouldn’t there be some talks today? At end of day everybody can/will claim victory— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) September 1, 2019
What does close even mean, really? Is it Elliott having a pen in his hand and ready to sign or is it something being agreed to and therefore just literally some progress being made? WFAA’s Mike Leslie had a Twitter thread throughout this entire window that is representative of the experience all in itself as it started off quite optimistic ultimately to come down a bit.
Update: A #Cowboys front office source showed less optimism than the source quoted in above report about the momentum toward an agreement.— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) September 1, 2019
This source characterizes the likelihood that a deal gets done in time for Elliott to be ready to play Week 1 as “50/50”.
Is it possible this is a scenario where two sides are seeing the same set of facts through different lenses, and that's what has led to the differing interpretations of the status? I suppose.— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) September 1, 2019
I trust both sources.
I'm not really sure what else to say besides that.
So we went from “it’s really heating up” to “we’re not close” with “everything” needing to be ironed out. Leslie is fair in suggesting that the interpretation from each side could be different, but could they really be that far apart?
The only true resolution to all of this is Ezekiel Elliott having a contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys. When will that happen? Will it happen at all? Could it happen before the regular season begins a week from now?
The answer might be yes, no, or everything in between. We just don’t know.