Cowboys "Pretty Far Apart" With Zeke, Dak, Amari

The Cowboys would like to sign their top offensive weapons to long-term deals, but that's proving to be easier said than done

Taz and the Moose
August 06, 2019 - 9:49 am
Ezekiel Elliott Cowboys

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The Dallas Cowboys reportedly remain far apart in contract negotiations with Ezekiel Elliott, but they have to know they likely won’t get to where they want to go this season without Zeke, right?

“They know that, but I think the bigger concern for them isn’t so much where they’re going to go this year; it’s where’s this team going to go three, four years down the line?” NFL Network’s Jane Slater said on Taz & The Moose. “Their biggest issue is Zeke’s camp believes that he deserves a contract that is in line with Todd Gurley’s. The Cowboys feel like Gurley’s contract was poorly structured and a bad deal, so they’re trying to reset the market on that.”

The Cowboys also want to sign Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper to long-term deals. They would love to sign all three, and their offers reflect that.

“As it’s been explained to me as recently as yesterday (Monday), the Cowboys feel like they have put an offer on the table not only for Zeke, but for Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott that would put each one of them in the top-five highest-paid at their position,” Slater said. “They feel good about them. In fact, it was characterized as generous offers. But they are comfortable with – and prepared to play this season – without all three on prove-it deals if that’s what it comes to. They’re ready to do a deal if the sides get serious about it, but it still feels like all three are pretty far apart right now.”

Unlike Prescott and Cooper, however, Elliott has forced the issue, likely due to the relatively short shelf life of elite running backs.

“I was told that they’re off on everything – as it applies to guaranteed money, as it applies to years,” Slater said. “So until they can meet in the middle a little bit more, it sounds like they’re OK doing this thing if they have to on a prove-it deal, reminding all of us that Zeke – as well as Amari, as well as Dak – are still under contract.”

If Slater had to guess, though, she believes Elliott will be with the Cowboys for their Week 1 game against the Giants at AT&T Stadium.

“Can he afford to miss games?” Slater asked. “I’ve got to think when you’ve missed six game checks already because of a suspension, you can’t afford to miss games. That’s (why) I feel like he’s going to be here for Week 1. I believe he wants to be a good teammate. I believe he knows how good this team is. I believe he’s used this period as the leverage he needed to get a new deal done. But I’ve been shocked every step of the way on this – as I believe the Cowboys have – when a lot of people that I spoke with believed that he would be here for camp in the first place. 

“So it’s hard to say,” Slater continued. “But I think when it comes down to money in the bank and what you can afford to skip out on, having missed those six game checks because of the suspension, it feels like he would need to show up for camp and he would need to show up for games.”

Click below to listen to Slater’s interview in its entirety.