Zeke a no-show at Cowboys conditioning tests.
On Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys boarded a team plane bound for California to kick off the start of training camp, but All Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott was nowhere to be found. Elliott was also a no-show on Friday, as Cowboys players reported for physicals and conditioning runs.
The 24-year old running back is entering the fourth year of his five-year rookie contract, and he is reportedly hoping to become the league's highest-paid running back. He is owed $3.853 million this season and $9.099 million on the fifth-year option in 2020, according to NFL.com.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Elliott’s agents been engaged in contract extension talks with Cowboys execs, but a deal is "not close." If the Cowboys are willing to make Zeke the league's highest-paid running back, they'll need to go beyond the four-year, $57.5 million extension ($14.375M annually) that Todd Gurley received from the Los Angeles Rams.
Last season, his third in the NFL, Elliott led the league in rushing with 1,434 yards on the ground to go along with 567 receiving yards, and nine total touchdowns. Although it seems like a lengthy holdout could be on the horizon, a couple of Elliott's teammates didn't seem all that concerned.
Per USA Today:
“To me, it doesn’t make a difference,” center Travis Frederick said Thursday. “I don’t think anybody’s concerned about it.” He added, “We’re going to work with the guys that we have. That’s not a dig at anybody. That’s just how it works.”
Linebacker Jaylon Smith simply said: “I love the hell out of Zeke.”
Scroll through the tweets embedded below to see how Cowboys fans and members of the media are reacting to Zeke's holdout.