Ezekiel Elliott's training camp holdout for a new contract is threatening to get ugly
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- Ezekiel Elliott is holding out of Dallas Cowboys training camp for a new contract
- According to reports, while missing training camp, Elliott is traveling to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
- Elliott's holdout comes at a time when his teammates quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper are also due for new contracts, but have reported to camp.
- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said Super Bowl teams don't need the "rushing champion," while reports have indicated that the Cowboys will not budge from their budget to pay Elliott early.
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Ezekiel Elliott has not reported to Dallas Cowboys training camp, making his holdout official.The 24-year-old running back is seeking a new contract. He currently has two years, $12.9 million left on his rookie deal.
Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan reported on Monday that Elliott was traveling to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, while he stays away from training camp. ESPN confirmed the report.NFL players often respect teammates' business decisions and don't talk about them publicly. But the optics of Elliott traveling to a resort town while holding out could provoke criticism. Last September, several members of the Pittsburgh Steelers surprised the NFL world when they criticized Bell's holdout, calling him "selfish" when they thought his holdout had lasted too long.
The Cowboys have several other contract situations to handle. Quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper are both in the final years of their contracts, and their agents are negotiating new deals with the team while both players are in camp."I'm not here to talk about my contract and that stuff," Prescott told reporters. "Talks, I'm sure, at this point are continuously happening. For me, it's to come out here and focus on this, not be distracted by any of that stuff, any of that conversation, just focus on being better, just being the best player I can be and making sure everyone around me is, as well.""I want to be here. I haven't really been thinking about my contract situation," Cooper told reporters. He added: "I want to be here. I want to be out here running routes. I want to be out here catching balls from Dak because I think it's necessary and I think it's going to help me achieve what I want to achieve this season."
According to Pro Football Talk's Charean Williams, Elliott's agent and the Cowboys have had contract discussions, but are not close to a deal. Williams reported that the Cowboys said they will not be pressured by Elliott and won't go outside of their budget to get a deal done.
ESPN's Dianna Russini said on "Get Up!" on Tuesday that a Cowboys source said the team won't pay Elliott as if he were a top-tier free agent running back.Team owner Jerry Jones even seemed to downplay Elliott's importance, telling CBS, "You don't have to have a rushing champion to win a Super Bowl."
The Cowboys are in a difficult position to pay Elliott like the top running back that he is because they have so many contracts to consider. On top of Cooper and Prescott, cornerback Byron Jones and linebacker Jaylon Smith are also in the final years of their contracts.
That is part of why Elliott wants to get paid now. The Cowboys have limited resources to pay the entire team. If Elliott sits back and watches the Cowboys lock in their core on both sides of the ball, he could be the odd man out. At a physically demanding position with a short career-span like running back, Elliott may need to capitalize now while he's still in his prime years.With both sides seemingly holding firm on their positions, there's a chance the holdout extends into the preseason and beyond.
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