OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he believes a contract extension will be reached with running back Ezekiel Elliott, but the organization will not bend in its desire to do a deal that will allow it to keep all its talent “under the same roof.”
“As far as doing something that would disrupt and shake the base of our plans for how to keep the talent we’ve got here, I’m not about to shake that loose,” Jones said after Thursday’s practice.
Yet, Jones said he still believes Elliott will be a Cowboy for a long time.
“When have I ever not done one?” Jones said of an extension.
Jones also acknowledged he does not believe there is a time when a deal has to be put in place, like the start of the regular season.
“I don’t see a point,” Jones said. “I don’t see a point months into the season.”
Jones intimated rules regarding holdouts in the future could be altered in the new collective bargaining agreement. Elliott faces a daily fine of $40,000 for missing camp. Now that the holdout has extended this long, the Cowboys have the right to seek repayment of a prorated portion of Elliott’s signing bonus.
Since the holdout has passed six days, the Cowboys can recoup a little more than $600,000 with a maximum of $1.02 million if Elliott’s absence continues.
“While we’re not as bright-lined enough in that area to do the best thing for the game, there are some lines there and they do bite when you do play,” Jones said. “[But] I don’t have a time that I’m thinking that this is a concern in the area of, ‘Oh, my goodness.’ This is not that time.”
The Cowboys have had regular discussions with Elliott’s agent, Rocky Arceneaux, but Jones would not say whether the sides are close. Elliott is under contract through 2020 and is set to make $3.853 million this season and $9.09 million next.
Speaking on 1310 The Ticket on Wednesday, executive vice president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys would not be market-setters in their contracts with Elliott, quarterback Dak Prescott or receiver Amari Cooper. Earlier, Jerry Jones told KTVT in Dallas that teams do not need a rushing champion to win a Super Bowl, even though Emmitt Smith was the rushing champion while on each of the Cowboys’ Super Bowl teams in the 1990s.
“Certainly, individually, they want to certainly be recognized when it comes to the money,” Jerry Jones said. “But on the other hand, it’s got to fit our plan or it doesn’t work with our house, and our house falls.”
As much as Jerry Jones wants Elliott here for training camp, the owner and GM does not have an issue with Elliott staying in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
“He is very conscientious about his preparation to play, and I’m not even giving it a second thought as to his conditioning, which is a part of his ability to step right in here and play,” Jones said. “That’s not even an issue. I’m not concerned about him missing the reps out here relative to getting his timing down. All of that is very easy for my mind to deal with.”