Jerry on Zeke deal: 'When have I ever not done one?'

Print

While Ezekiel Elliott trains quietly in Cabo, the Dallas Cowboys' brass is using its pulpit during training camp to continually push its reasoning for not wanting to bow to Zeke's contract desires.

Thursday was Jerry Jones' turn to talk to the media. The Cowboys owner said he's staying patient through Elliott's holdout, and isn't worried about not getting a deal done.

"No, I don't consider it ... when have I ever not done one?" Jones said, via the team's official website. "You just keep plugging along. I don't want to see a cliché but it's what we tell these (players), it's one foot in front of the other and go. Do what you have to do on the next play and keep going."

The Cowboys' next play was to sign running back Alfred Morris to tide them over until Elliott eventually returns.

When that could happen is anyone's best guess. NFL Network's Jane Slater when asking a source if anything with Zeke was close received the response: "Close? Nope."

For his part, Jones doesn't believe there is a deadline that a deal with Zeke must be done.

"I don't see it that way. I don't see a point months into the season," Jones said. "I don't see a point. I've done it a lot more than these players have, I don't want to seem trite or cavalier about it, but I have a little more patience about how things are going to get done and the necessity to have angst when you have it."

At one point, Jones suggested holdout rules could be adjusted during the next CBA, calling the current system "sloppy." The Cowboys can fine up to $40,000 per day of training camp missed.

With two years left on his deal, Elliott is holding out while QB Dak Prescott and WR Amari Cooper, both entering the final year of their deals, are at camp. The dichotomy between the situations underscores the difference in positional value. Prescott and Cooper aren't worried about if they'll get paid. It's simply a matter of time for those two. For Zeke, the running back market is choppy water fraught with threatening sea monsters. He wants to cash in when his leverage is the highest. At this moment, with this team, seemingly built for a deep playoff run with him as the focal point of the offense, whatever leverage he has is unlikely to get much higher. The only card to play to get a new deal is to withhold services.

Of course, working against Zeke is the belief that all running backs are replaceable. Jones himself said earlier in the week that teams don't need an all-world RB to win a Super Bowl.

The owner clarified and doubled down on his point that the pieces surrounding Zeke are vital to the team's success.

"My point I was making was you have to put in place more than a running back to win a championship," Jones said. "That's almost elementary. Everyone understands that. Certainly they want to be recognized when it comes to the money but on the other hand, it doesn't (always) work in our house and then our house falls."

Without Zeke, Jones' house might also fall.

Print