Ezekiel Elliott returns to Dallas with deal 'very close'

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Ezekiel Elliott is heading back to Dallas.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday morning that Zeke, who had been in Cabo since the start of training camp, is flying back to the Dallas area in case his contract extension gets done, per sources informed of the situation.

The deal is not done, and some obstacles remain, per Rapoport, but Elliott will be back in town if a deal gets finalized ahead of Week 1.

Elliott arrived in Dallas from Cabo San Lucas on Tuesday night with his agent, Rocky Arceneaux, who told reporters that a deal is "very close", per ESPN.com.

"I think Zeke is showing he's committed by coming back to Dallas," Arceneaux said. "We didn't come here not to do a deal. ... We're talking. They're committed and we're committed. That's why we are here."

Elliott headed to Cabo as the Cowboys opened training camp in late July. The All-Pro running back spent the time keeping in shape and preparing for the 2019 season, including working out with Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk.

The Cowboys and Zeke have made progress on contract talks over the weekend, in hopes of hammering out an extension before the start of the regular season. Elliott has two years left on his rookie contract, set to earn $3.853 million and $9.099 million in 2019 and 2020, respectively. An extension is expected to include a hefty pay raise.

The Cowboys have insisted this offseason that they didn't want to reset the market with a new contract for Zeke, while the running back has been clear he wants to leap Todd Gurley's deal.

The question is whether the two sides can breach the gap that remains.

"It's not just the overall number, obviously Zeke wants to be the highest-paid running back in the NFL," Rapoport said Monday on NFL Network. "It's really about the cash flow as well because averaging $15 million is one thing, but if it's a backloaded deal, it probably doesn't make a lot of sense for Zeke because he may not see that on the back end anyway."

With the season quickly approaching, getting a deal done early this week is vital if the Cowboys want Zeke on the field Sunday versus the New York Giants.

Tuesday morning, owner Jerry Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas that he's "hopeful" the Cowboys can get a deal done with Zeke soon, per Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

With Zeke finally returning from Cabo, perhaps that hope will become ink on a new extension soon.

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