Ezekiel Elliott still considering training camp options

The Dallas Cowboys open camp at the end of the week. Will Ezekiel Elliott report with his teammates?

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday on Good Morning Football that Zeke and his camp have still not decided whether or not the running back will hold out or show up when veterans report on Friday.

"From what I'm told, as recently as yesterday, all options are still on the table," Rapoport said. "(Elliott) still has not yet firmly decided whether or not he is going to hold out. If he does not hold out, that means contract talks are going in the right direction or at least he trusts the Cowboys to get a deal done."

Rapoport noted that the Cowboys and Zeke's camp had more contract negotiations earlier in the spring than recently.

If Elliott holds out, comparisons will immediately be made to 1993, when Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith sat out, demanding a new contract. Smith skipped the first two regular-season games, both Cowboys losses, then Dallas bent and gave the running back the deal he requested. The Cowboys then skipped to a Super Bowl championship.

Whether Jerry Jones wants to tread those waters again remains to be seen.

Paying running backs in 2019 is a divisive issue, with the Rams' deal for Todd Gurley underscoring the possible risks of investing at the position, and the Chargers' Melvin Gordon's potential hold out threat displaying the players' only option.

Over the weekend, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott sang Elliott's praise, highlighting what the running back means to Dallas' offense.

"It does everything," Prescott said, via WFAA's Mark Lane. "It allows the game to open up. When you can run the ball successfully, all it does is open up the passing game, opens up the play-action game. It allows you to be dominant in the second half and in the fourth quarter when you need to be."

Elliott has two years left on his rookie contract, slated to earn $3.853 million this season and $9.099 million on the fifth-year option in 2020, guaranteed for injury only.

The running back's only leverage at this point is to withhold services. His decision to show up or not will clearly tell us where the team and back are at in negotiations. With Prescott and Amari Cooper also looking to get paid, the Cowboys' contract situations are coming to a head as we enter training camp.

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