Ezekiel Elliott is holding out of Dallas Cowboys training camp. Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper also need to get paid. But based on comments made by Dallas Executive Vice President Stephen Jones, the team will continue to push for team-friendly deals, rather than set the market with record-breaking contracts.
Jones sent a strong message that may not be well received by the players, speaking on 1310 The Ticket on Wednesday, per Jon Machota of The Athletic:
“We’ve got three really good football player that we’re dealing with here and that have very good representation. And they want to see the market,” Jones said. “We can’t push the issue unless we want to be a market-setter. And we’re damn sure not going to be a market-setter, because of all the things that go with being a Dallas Cowboy.”
Jones also said the Cowboys “want to be fair,” but noted the team cannot afford to give out record-breaking contracts to all three guys.
“Whether it’s Dak, whether it’s Amari, whether it’s Zeke, they all understand we’ve got a whole group of young players coming behind them that want to be Dallas Cowboys and want to stay here. When we save money, whether it’s with Dak, whether it’s with Zeke, whether it’s with Amari, it’s not saving Jerry and I a dollar. It’s just money that’s going to go to another player….We’re very convicted that we’re going to get these deals done.”
As it concerns the team’s only holdout, owner Jerry Jones recently made some comments that suggest the Cowboys and Elliott are not only very far apart on numbers, but that the team isn’t willing to set a new market on an extension.
Stephen Jones also made it clear the team isn’t happy that Elliott is holding out.
“Do we like it? Of course not,” Jones said of Elliott’s holdout. “Do we think there’s a better way to handle things? We do. Are we focused and convicted on getting Zeke a contract? We are.”
Dallas has one of the most talented young rosters in the NFL right now. Yet it’s a tricky balancing act to get everyone paid top dollar. It will be fascinating to see how this all unfolds in the next couple of years.